The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 12, The case of Schreber ; Papers on technique ; and other works : (1911-1913) 9780099426653, 009942665X

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POSTSCRIPT (1912 [1911])
PAPERS ON TECHNIQUE (1911-1915 [1914])
ON PSYCHO-ANAL YSIS (1913 [1911])
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The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 12, The case of Schreber ; Papers on technique ; and other works : (1911-1913)
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SIGMUND FREUD Translatedfrom the German under the General Editorship of

JAMES S TRACHEY In Collaboration with

ANNA FREUD Assisted by


The Case of Schreber Papers on Technique and

Other Works





Edmund Engleman




This Edition first Published in 1958 Reprinted 1962, 1964, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1978 and 1981 ISBN O 7012 0067 7

All rights reserved. No part of this publica­ tion may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo­ copying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The Hogarth Press Ltd. TRANSLATION AND EDITORIAL MATTER @ THE INSTITUTE OF _PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND ANGELA RICHARDS I 958 PRINTED AND BOUND IN GREAT BRITAIN BY BUTLER AND TANNER LTD., FROME


PSYCHO-ANALYTIC NOTES ON AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF A CASE OF PARANOIA (DEMENTIA PARANOIDES) (1911) Editor's Note Introduction I Case History II Attempts at Interpretation III On the Mechanism of Paranoia Postscript

page 3 9 12 35 59 � \ 80

PAPERS ON TECHNIQUE (1911-1915 [1914]) Editor's Introduction







II) (1914)






OBSERVATIONS ON TRANSFERENCE-LOVE (FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE TECHNIQUE OF PSYCHO-ANALYSIS III) (1915 page 157 [1914]) APPENDIX: List of Writings by Freud dealing mainly with Psycho-Analytic Technique and the Theory of Psycho­ 172 therapy DREAMS IN FOLKLORE (1957 [1911]) (Freud and Oppenheim) 175 Editor's Note 177 180 Dreams in Folklore ON PSYCHO-ANALYSIS (1913 [1911])



FORMULATIONS ON THE TWO PRINCIPLES OF MENTAL FUNCI'IONING (1911) 213 Editor's Note 215 Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning 'IYPES OF ONSET OF NEUROSIS (1912) Editor's Note Types of Onset of Neurosis CONTRIBUTIONS TO A DISCUSSION ON MASTURBATION (1912) Editor's Note (I) Introduction (II) Concluding Remarks

ct® 227 229 231

239 241 243 245 ;;. l "i

A NOTE ON THE UNCONSCIOUS IN PSYCHOANALYSIS (1912) 255 Editor's Note 257 260 A Note on the Unconscious in Psycho-Analysis AN EVIDENTIAL DREAM (1913)








THE DISPOSITION TO OBSESSIONAL NEUROSIS (1913) Editor's Note The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis

311 313 317





page 327


SHORTER WRITINGS (1911-1913) 341 The Significance of Sequences of Vowels 342 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians' Preface to Maxim Steiner's Die psychischen Storungen der mannlichen Potent:. 345 BIBLIOGRAPHY AND AUTHOR INDEX LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS GENERAL INDEX

FRONTISPIECE Freud's Consulting-Room in Vienna By Pmnissum of Sigmund Freud Copyrights

347 359 361



(a) 1911 1913 1924 1932 1943

GERMAN EomoNs: Jb. psychoan. psychopath. Forsch., 3 (I), 9-68. S.K.S.N., 3, 198-266. G.S., 8, 355-4-31. Vier Krankengeschichten, 377-4-60. G.W., 8, 240-316.


'Nachtrag zu dem autobiographisch beschriebenen Fall von Paranoia (Dementia paranoides)', Jb. psychoan. psychopath. Forsch., 3 (2), 588-90. S.K.S.N., 3, 267-70. G.S., 8, 432-5. Vier Krankengeschichten, 460-3. G.W., 8, 317-20.

1913 1924 1932 1943

(b) ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 'Psycho-Analytic Notes upon an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia (Dementia Paranoides)' 1925 C.P., 3, 387-4-66.-' "Postscript" to the Case of Paranoia', ibid., 467-70. (Tr. Allie and James Strachey.) The present translation is a re-issue, with a number of corrections and additional notes, of the one published in 1925. Schreber's Memoirs were published in 1903; but, though they had been widely discussed in psychiatric circles, they seem not to have attracted Freud's attention till the summer of 1910. He is known to have talked of them, and of the whole question of paranoia, during his Sicilian tour with Ferenczi in September of that year. On his return to Vienna he began writing his paper, and letters dated December 16 to both Abraham and Ferenczi announced its completion. It seems not to have been published till the summer of 1911. The 'Postscript' was read 3



before the Third International Psycho-Analytical Congress (held at Weimar) on September 22, 1911, and was published at the beginning of the next year. Freud had attacked the problem of paranoia at a very early stage of his researches into psychopathology. On January 24, 1895, some months before the publication of the Studies on Hysteria, he sent Fliess a long memorandum on the subject (Freud, 1950a, Draft H). This included a short case history and a theoretical discussion which aimed at establishing two main points: that paranoia is a neurosis of defence and that its chief mechanism is projection. Almost a year later (on January 1, 1896) he sent Fliess another, much shorter, note on paranoia; this formed part of a general account of the 'neuroses of defence' (ibid., Draft K), which he soon afterwards expanded into his second published paper bearing that title (1896b). In its published form, Section III of this paper included another and longer case history and was headed: 'Analysis of a Case of Chronic Paranoia'-a case for which Freud (in a footnote added nearly twenty years later) preferred the amended diag­ nosis of 'dementia paranoides'. As regards theory, this paper of 1896 added little to his earlier suggestions; but in- a letter to Fliess not very long afterwards (December 9, 1899, Freud, 1950a, Letter 125) a somewhat cryptic paragraph occurs, which gives a hint of Freud's later views, including a suggestion that paranoia involves a return to an early auto-erotism. It will be found quoted in full in the Editor's Note to the paper on 'The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis' in connection with the problem of 'choice of neurosis'. (See below, p. 314 f.) Between the date of this last passage and the publication of the Schreber case history more than ten years elapsed with scarcely a mention of paranoia in Freud's published writings. We learn from Ernest Jones (1955, 281), however, that on November 21, 1906, he presented a case of female paranoia before the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society. At that date he had apparently not yet arrived at what was to be his main generalization on the subject-namely, the connection between paranoia and repressed passive homosexuality. Nevertheless, only a little over a year later he was putting forward that hypo­ thesis in letters to Jung (January 27, 1908) and Ferenczi (February 1 I, 1908), and was asking for and receiving their



confirmation ofit. More than three more years elapsed before the Schreber memoirs offered him the opportunity of publishing his th oryfor the first time andof supporting it by a detailed account of his analysis of the unconscious processes at work in paranoia. There are a number of references to that disease in Freud's later writings. The more important of these were his paper on 'A Case of Paranoia Running Counter to the Psycho-Analytic Theory of the Disease' (19151) and Section B of 'Some Neu­ rotic Mechanisms in Jealousy, Paranoia and Homosexuality' (1922b). In addition, 'A Seventeenth Century Demonological Neurosis' (1923d) includes some discussion of the Schreber case, though the neurosis which is the subject of the paper is nowhere described by Freud as paranoia. In none of these later writings is there any essential modification of the views on paranoia expressed in the present work. The importance of the Schreber analysis, however, is by no means restricted to the light it throws on the problems of paranoia. Its third section, in particular, was, together with the simultaneously published short paper on the two principles of mental functioning (191 lb), p. 218 below, in many ways a fore­ runner of the metapsychological papers on which Freud em­ barked three or four years later. A number of subjects are touched upon which were to be discussed afterwards at greater length. Thus, the remarks on narcissism (p. 60 f.) were prelimin­ ary to the paper devoted to that subject (1914c), the account of the mechanism of repression (p. 66 ff.) was to be taken up again in the course of a few years (1915d), and the discussion of the instincts (p. 74) was feeling its way towards the more elaborate one in 'Instincts and their Vicissitudes' (1915c). The paragraph on projection (p. 66) on the other hand was not, in spite of its promise, to find any sequel. Each of the two topics discussed in the later part of the paper, however-the various causes of the onset of neurosis (including the concept of 'frustration') and the part played by successive 'points of fixation'-was to be dealt with before long in a separate paper (1912c and 1913i). Finally, in the postscript we find Freud's first brief excursion into the field of mythology and his first mention of totems, which were beg nning to occupy his thoughts and which were to give the title to one of his principal works (1912-13). As Freud tells us (p. 46, n. 1), his case history makes use of only



a single fact (Schreber's age at the time he fell ill) that was not contained in the Memoirs. We now possess, thanks to a paper written byDr. FranzBaumeyer (1956), a quantityofadditional information. Dr. Baumeyer was for some years (1946-9) in charge of a hospital near Dresden where he found a quantity of the original case records of Schreber's successive illnesses. He has summarized these records and quoted many of them in full. In addition to this he has collected a large number of facts concerning Schreber's family history and antecedents. Where any of this material seems to be directly relevant to Freud's paper, it will be found mentioned in the footnotes. Here it is only necessary to report the sequel to the history narrated in the Memoirs. After his discharge at the end of 1902, Schreber seems to have carried on an outwardly normal existence for some years. Then, in November, 1907, his wife had a stroke (though she lived until 1912). This seems to have precipitated a fresh onset of his illness, and he was re-admitted-this time to an asylum in the Dosen district of Leipzig-a fortnight later. 1 He remained there in an extremely disordered and largely in­ accessible state until his death, after gradual physical deteriora­ tion, in the spring of 1911-only a short time before the publication of Freud's paper. The following chronological table, based on data derived partly from the Memoirs and partly from Baumeyer's material, may make the details in Freud's discus­ sion easier to disentangle. 1842 July 25. Daniel Paul Schreber born at Leipzig. 1861 November. Father died, aged 53. 1877 Elder brother (3 years his senior) died, aged 38. 1878 Married. First Illness 1884 Autumn. Stood as candidate for the Reichstag. 11

1 It appears from a letter to Princess Marie Bonaparte, written by Freud on September 13, 1926, and published in part in the third volume of Ernest Jones's biography (1957, 477), that he had been informed of this relapse and its occasion (among other things) through a Dr. Stegmann, though he made no mention of it in his paper. See footnotes on pp. 46 and 51 below. 1 At this time Scbreber was already filling an important judicial office, as judge presiding over the Landgericht (a court of inferior jurisdiction) at Chemnitz. After recovering from his first illness he occupied a similar position in the Landgericht in Leipzig. Just before his second illness he was appointed Presiding Judge over a Division of the Saxon Appeal Court in Dresden.



1884 October. For some weeks in Sonnenstein Asylum. December 8. Leipzig Psychiatric Clinic. 1885 June I. Discharged. 1886 January 1. Took up appointment in Leipzig Land­ gericht. Second Illness 1893 June. Informed of approaching appointment to Appeal Court. October 1. Took up appointment as Presiding Judge. November 21. Re-admitted to Leipzig Clinic. 1894 June 14. Transferred to Lindenhof Asylum. June 29. Transferred to Sonnenstein Asylum. 1900-1902. Wrote Memoirs and took legal action for his discharge. 1902 July 14. Court judgement of discharge. December 20. Discharged. 1903 Memoirs published. Third Illness 1907 May. Mother died, aged 92. November 14. Wife had stroke. Fell ill immediately afterwards. November 27. Admitted to Asylum at Leipzig-Dosen. 1911 April 14. Died. 1912 May. Wife died, aged 54. A note on the three mental hospitals referred to in various ways in the text may also be of help. (I) Psychiatric Clinic (In-patient department) of the Uni­ versity of Leipzig. Director: Professor Flechsig. (2) Schloss Sonnenstein. Saxon State Asylum at Pima on the Elbe, 10 miles above Dresden. Director: Dr. G. Weber. (3) Lindenhof Private Asylum. Near Coswig, 11 miles N.W. of Dresden. Director: Dr. Pierson. An English translation of the Denkwiirdigkeiten by Dr. Ida Macalpine and Dr. Richard A. Hunter was published in 1955 (London: William Dawson). For various reasons, some of which will be obvious to anyone comparing their version with ours, it has not been possible to make use of it for the many quota­ tions from Schreber's book which occur in the case history.



There are clearly special difficulties in translating the produc­ tions of schizophrenics, in which words, as Freud himself pointed out in his paper on 'The Unconscious' (Standard Ed., 14, 197 ff.), play such a dominating part. Here the translator is faced by the same problems that meet him so often in dreams, slips of the tongue and jokes. In all these cases the method adopted in the Standard Edition is the pedestrian one of where necessary giving the original German words in footnotes and endeavouring by means of explanatory comments to allow an English reader some opportunity of forming an opinion of his own on the material. At the same time, it would be misleading to disregard outward forms entirely and to present through a purely literal translation an uncouth picture of Schreber's style. One of the remarkable features of the original is the con­ trast it perpetually offers between the involved and elaborate sentences of official academic nineteenth-century German and the outre extravagances of the psychotic events which they describe. Throughout this paper figures in brackets with no preceding 'p.' are page references to the original German edition of Schreber's memoirs-Denkwiirdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken, Leip­ zig, Oswald Mutze. Figures in brackets with a preceding 'p.' are as always in the Standard Edition, references to pages in the present volume.

PSYCHO-ANALYTIC NOTES ON AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF A CASE OF PARANOIA (DEMENTIA PARANOIDES) [INTRODUCTION] THE analytic investigation of paranoia presents difficulties of a peculiar nature to physicians who, like myself, are not attached to public institutions. We cannot accept patients suffering from this complaint, or, at all events, we cannot keep them for long, since we cannot offer treatment unless there is some prospect of therapeutic success. It is only in exceptional circumstances, therefore, that I succeed in getting more than a superficial view of the structure of paranoia-when, for instance, the diagnosis (which is not always an easy matter) is uncertain enough to justify an attempt at influencing the patient, or when, in spite of an assured diagnosis, I yield to the entreaties of the patient's relatives and undertake to treat him for a time. Apart from this, of course, I see plenty of cases of paranoia and of dementia praecox, and I learn as much about them as other psychiatrists do about their cases; but that is not enough, as a rule, to lead to any analytic conclusions. The psycho-analytic investigation of paranoia would be alto­ gether impossible if the patients themselves did not possess the peculiarity of betraying (in a distorted form, it is true) precisely those things which other neurotics keep hidden as a secret. Since paranoics cannot be compelled to overcome their in­ ternal resistances, and since in any case they only say what they choose to say, it follows that this is precisely a disorder in which a written report or a printed case history can take the place of personal acquaintance with the patient. For this reason I think it is legitimate to base analytic interpretations upon the case history of a patient suffering from paranoia (or, more pre­ cisely, from dementia paranoides) whom I have never seen, but who has written his own case history and brought it before the public in print. S,F. XII-B




I refer to Dr. jur. Daniel Paul Schreber, formerly Senats­ prasident in Dresden,1 whose book, Denkwiirdigkeiten eines Ner­ venkranken [Memoirs of a Nerve Patient], was published in 1903, and, if I am rightly informed, aroused considerable interest among psychiatrists. It is possible that Dr. Schreber may still be living to-day and that he may have dissociated himself so far from the delusional system which he put forward in 1903 as to be pained by these notes upon his book. 2 In so far, however, as he still retains his identity with his former personality, I can rely upon the arguments with which he himself-'a man of superior mental gifts and endowed with an unusual keenness alike ofinteUect and ofobservation' 3-countered the efforts that were made to restrain him from publishing his memoirs: 'I have been at no pains', he writes, 'to close my eyes to the difficulties that would appear to lie in the path of publication, and in particular to the problem of paying due regard to the susceptibilities of certain persons still living. On the other hand, I am of opinion that it might well be to the advantage both of science and of the recognition of religious truths if, during my life-time, qualified authorities were enabled to undertake some examination of my body and to hold some enquiry into my personal experiences. To this consideration all feelings of a personal character must yield.'' He declares in another passage that he has decided to keep to his intention of publishing the book, even if the consequence were to be that his physician, Geheimrat Dr. Flechsig of Leipzig,11 brought an action against him. He urges upon Dr. Flechsig, however, the same considera­ tions that I am now urging upon him himself. 'I trust', he says, 'that even in the case of Geheimrat Prof. Dr. Flechsig any personal susceptibilities that he may feel will be outweighed by a scientific interest in the subject-matter of my memoirs.' (446.) 8

1 [A Senatsprasident in an Oberlandesgericht is the Judge presiding over a Division of an Appeal Court.] 1 [Schreber in fact died on April 14, 1911, a few months after Freud wrote this case history (sec p. 3).] 1 This piece of self-portraiture, which is certainly not unjustified, will be found on page 35 of his book. ' Preface, iii. [Cf. end of footnote, p. 32.] 1 [Paul Emil Flechsig (1847-1929), Professor of Psychiatry at Leipzig from 1877 to 1921, was celebrated for his work in neuro-anatomy.] 1 [A note on the system of page references adopted in the translation of the present paper will be found at the end of the Editor's Note, p. 8 above.]



Though all the passages from the Denkwurdigkeiten upon which my interpretations are based will be quoted verbatim in the following pages, I would ask my readers to make themselves acquainted with the book by reading it through at least once beforehand.


CASE HISTORY 'I HAVE suffered twice from nervous disorders', writes Dr. Schreber, 'and each time as a result of mental overstrain. This was due on the first occasion to my standing as a candidate for election to the Reichstag while I was Landgerichtsdirektor 1 at Chemnitz, and on the second occasion to the very heavy burden of work that fell upon my shoulders when I entered on my new duties as Senatsprasident in the Oberlandesgericht in Dresden.' (34.) Dr. Schreber's first illness began in the autumn of 1884, and by the end of 1885 he had completely recovered. During this period he spent six months in Flechsig's clinic, and the latter, in a formal report which he drew up at a later date, described the disorder as an attack of severe hypochondria [379]. Dr. Schreber assures us that this illness ran its course 'without the occurrence of any incidents bordering upon the sphere of the supernatural'. (35.) Neither the patient's own account, nor the reports of the physicians which are reprinted at the end of his book, 2 tell us enough about his previous history or his personal circumstances. I am not even in a position to give the patient's age at the time of his illness, 3 though the high judicial position which he had attained before his second illness establishes some sort of lower limit. We learn that Dr. Schreber had been married long before the time of his 'hyp ochondria'. 'The gratitude of my wife', he writes, 'was perhaps even more heartfelt; for she revered Pro­ fessor Flechsig as the man who had restored her husband to her, and hence it was that for years she kept his portrait standing upon her writing-table.' (36.) And in the same place: 'After my recovery from my first illness I spent eight years with my wife[Judge presiding over an inferior Court.] [The Appendices to Schreber's book, covering nearly 140 pages, include three medico-legal Reports by Dr. Weber (dated December, 1899, November, 1900, and April, 1902), Schreber's own Statement of his Case (July, 1901) and the Court Judgement of July, 1902.] 8 [He was, in fact, 42 at the time of his first illness (p. 7) and, as Freud himself tells us on p. 46, 51 at the time of his second.] 12 1




years, upon the whole, of great happiness, rich in outward honours, and only clouded from time to time by the oft­ repeated disappointment of our hope that we might be blessed with children., In June, 1893, he was notified of his prospective appointment as Senatsprasident, and he took up his duties on the first of October of the same year. Between these two dates 1 he had some dreams, though it was not until later that he came to attach any importance to them. He dreamt two or three times that his old nervous disorder had come back; and this made him as miserable in the dream as the discovery that it was only a dream made him happy when he woke up. Once, in the early hours of the morning, moreover, while he was in a state between sleeping and waking, the idea occurred to him 'that after all it really must be very nice to be a woman submitting to the act of copulation'. (36.) This idea was one which he would have rejected with the greatest indignation if he had been fully conscious. The second illness set in at the end of October 1893 with a torturing bout of sleeplessness. This forced him to return to the Flechsig clinic, where, however, his condition grew rapidly worse. The further course of the illness is described in a Report drawn up subsequently [in 1899] by the director of the Sonnen­ stein Asylum: 'At the commencement of his residence there 2 he expressed more hypochondriacal ideas, complained that he had softening of the brain, that he would soon be dead, etc. But ideas of persecution were already finding their way into the clinical picture, based upon sensory illusions which, however, seemed only to appear sporadically at first; while simultane­ ously a high degree of hyperaesthesia was observable-great sensitiveness to light and noise.-Later, the visual and auditory illusions became much more frequent, and, in conjunction with coenaesthetic disturbances, dominated the whole of his feeling and thought. He believed that he was dead and decomposing, that he was suffering from the plague; he asserted that his body was being handled in all kinds of revolting ways; and, as he himself declares to this day, he went through worse horrors than any one could have imagined, and all on behalf of a holy 1 And therefore before he could have been affected by the overwork caused by his new post, to which he attributes his illness. 1 In Professor Flechsig's clinic at Leipzig. [See Editor's Note, p. 7.]



purpose. The patient was so much pre-occupied with these pathological experiences that he was inaccessible to any other impression and would sit perfectly rigid and motionless for hours (hallucinatory stupor). On the other hand, they tortured him to such a degree that he longed for death. He made re­ peated attempts at drowning himself in his bath, and asked to be given the "cyanide that was intended for him". His delu­ sional ideas gradually assumed a mystical and religious char­ acter; he was in direct communication with God, he was the plaything of devils, he saw "miraculous apparitions", he heard "holy music", and in the end he even came to believe that he was living in another world.' (380.) It may be added that there were certain people by whom he thought he was being persecuted and injured, and upon whom he poured abuse. The most prominent of these was his former physician, Flechsig, whom he called a 'soul-murderer'; and he used to call out over and over again: 'Little Flechsig!' putting a sharp stress upon the first word (383). He was moved from Leipzig, and, after a short interval spent in another institution, 1 was brought in June 1894 to the Sonnenstein Asylum, near Pima, where he remained until his disorder assumed its final shape. In the course of the next few years the clinical picture altered in a manner which can best be described in the words of Dr. Weber, the director of the asylum.11 'I need not enter any further into the details of the course of the disease. I must, however, draw attention to the manner in which, as time went on, the initial comparatively acute psy­ chosis, which had directly involved the patient's entire mental life and deserved the name of "hallucinatory insanity", de­ veloped more and more clearly ( one might almost say crystal­ lized out) into the paranoic clinical picture that we have before us to-day.' (385.) The fact was that, on the one hand, he had developed an ingenious delusional structure, in which we have every reason to be interested, while, on the other hand, his personality had been reconstructed and now showed itself, except for a few isolated disturbances, capable of meeting the demands of everyday life. Dr. Weber, in his Report of 1899, makes the following re­ marks: 'It thus appears that at the present time, apart from 1


(Dr. Pierson's private asylum at Lindenhof.] [In his Report of July, 1899.]



certain obvious psychomotor symptoms which cannot fail to strike even the superficial observer as being pathological, Herr Senatsprasident Dr.Schreber shows no signs of confusion or of psychical inhibition, nor is his intelligence noticeably impaired. His mind is collected, his memory is excellent, he has at his disposal a very considerable store of knowledge (not merely upon legal questions, but in many other fields), and he is able to reproduce it in a connected train of thought. He takes an interest in following events in the world of politics, science and art, etc., and is constantly occupied with such matters ... and an observer who was uninstructed upon his general condition would scarcely notice anything peculiar in these directions. In spite of all this, however, the patient is full of ideas of patho­ logical origin, which have formed themselves into a complete system; they are more or less fixed, and seem to be inaccessible to correction by means of any objective appreciation and judge­ ment of the external facts.' (385-6.) Thus the patient's condition had undergone a great change, and he now considered himself capable of carrying on an inde­ pendent existence.He accordingly took appropriate steps with a view to regaining control over his own affairs and to securing his discharge from the asylum.Dr. Weber set himself to prevent the fulfilment of these intentions and drew up reports in oppo­ sition to them. Nevertheless, in his Report dated 1900, he felt obliged to give this appreciative account of the patient's character and conduct: 'Since for the last nine months Herr Prasident Schreber has taken his meals daily at my family board, I have had the most ample opportunities of conversing with him upon every imaginable topic. Whatever the subject was that came up for discussion (apart, of course, from his delusional ideas), whether it concerned events in the field of administration and law, of politics, art, literature or social life­ in short, whatever the topic, Dr. Schreber gave evidence of a lively interest, a well-informed mind, a good memory, and a sound judgement; his ethical outlook, moreover, was one which it was impossible not to endorse. So, too, in his lighter talk with the ladies of the party, he was both courteous and affable, and when he touched upon matters in a more humorous vein he invariably displayed tact and decorum. Never once, during these innocent talks round the dining-table, did he introduce subjects which should more properly have been raised at a



medical consultation.' (397-8.) Indeed, on one occasion during this period when a business question arose wliich involved the interests of his whole family, he entered into it in a manner which showed both his technical knowledge and his common sense (401 and 510). In the numerous applications to the cc;mrts, by which Dr. Schreber endeavoured to regain his liberty, he did not in the least disavow his delusions or make any secret of his intention of publishing the Denkwiirdigkeiten. On the contrary, he dwelt upon the importance of his ideas to religious thought, and upon their invulnerability to the attacks of modern science; but at the same time he laid stress upon the 'absolute harmlessness' (430) of all the actions which, as he was aware, his delusions obliged him to perform. Such, indeed, were his acumen and the cogency of his logic that finally, and in spite of his being an acknowledged paran oic, his efforts were crowned with success. In July, 1902, Dr. Schreber's civil rights were restored, and in the following year his Denkwiirdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken appeared, though in a censored form and with many valuable portions omitted. The CourtJudgement that gave Dr. Schreber back his liberty summarizes the content of his delusional system in a few sentences: 'He believed that he had a mission to redeem �e world and to restore it to its lost state of bliss.1 This, however, he could only bring about if he were first transformed from a man into a woman.' (475.) For a more detailed account of his delusions as they appeared in their final shape we may turn to Dr. Weber's Report of 1899: 'The culminating point of the patient's delusional system is his belief that he has a mission to redeem the world, and to restore mankind to their lost state of bliss. He was called to this task, so he asserts, by direct inspiration from God, just as we are taught that the Prophets were; for nerves in a condition of great excitement, as his were for a long time, have precisely the property of exerting an attraction upon God-though this is touching on matters which human speech is scarcely, if at all, capable of expressing, since they lie entirely outside the scope of human experience and, indeed, have been revealed to him alone. The most essential part of his mission of redemption is 1

(See footnote 3, p. 23.]



that it must be preceded by his transformation into a woman. It is not to be supposed that he wishes to be transformed into a woman; it is rather a question of a "must" based upon the Order of Things, which there is no possibility of his evading, much as he would personally prefer to remain in his own honourable and masculine station in life. But neither he nor the rest of mankind can regain the life beyond except by his being transformed into a woman (a process which may occupy many years or even decades) by means of divine miracles. He himself, of this he is convinced, is the only object upon which divine miracles are worked, and he is thus the most remarkable human being who has ever lived upon earth. Every hour and every minute for years he has experienced these miracles in his body, and he has had them confirmed by the voices that have conversed with him. During the first years of his illness certain of his bodily organs suffered such destructive injuries as would inevitably have led to the death of any other man: he lived for a long time without a stomach, without intestines, almost with­ out lungs, with a tom oesophagus, without a bladder, and with shattered ribs, he used sometimes to swallow part of his own larynx with his food, etc. But divine miracles ("rays") always restored what had been destroyed, and therefore, as long as he remains a man, he is altogether immortal. These alarming phenomena have ceased long ago, and his "femaleness" has become prominent instead. This is a matter of a process of development which will probably require decades, if not cen­ turies, for its completion, and it is unlikely that anyone now living v,ill survive to see the end of it. He has a feeling that enormous numbers of "female nerves" have already passed over into his body, and out of them a new race of men will proceed, through a process of direct impregnation by God. Not until then, it seems, will he be able to die a natural death, and, along with the rest of mankind, will he regain a state of bliss. In the meantime not only the sun, but trees and .birds, which are in the nature of "bemiracled residues of former human souls", speak to him in human accents, and miraculous things happen everywhere around him.' (386-8.) The interest felt .by the practical psychiatrist in such delu­ sional formations as these is, as a rule, exhausted when once he has ascertained the character of the products of the delusion and has formed an estimate of their influence on the patient's



general behaviour: in his case marvelling is not the beginning of understanding. The psycho-analyst, in the light of his know­ ledge of the psychoneuroses, approaches the subject with a suspicion that even thought-structures so extraordinary as these and so remote from our common modes of thinking are never­ theless derived from the most general and comprehensible impulses of the human mind; and he would be glad to discover the motives of such a transformation as well as the manner in which it has been accomplished. With this aim in view, he will wish to go more deeply into the details of the delusion and into the history of its development.

(a) The medical officer lays stress upon two points as being of chief importance: the patient's assumption of the role of Redeemer, and his transformation into a woman. The Redeemer delusion is a phantasy that is familiar to us through the frequency with which it forms the nucleus of religious paranoia. The additional factor, which makes the redemption dependent upon the man being previously transformed into a woman, is unusual and in itself bewildering, since it shows such a wide divergence from the historical myth which the patient's phantasy is setting out to reproduce. It is natural to follow the medical report in assuming that the motive force of this delusional complex was the patient's ambition to play the part of Redeemer, and that his emasculation was only entitled to be regarded as a means for achieving that end. Even though this may appear to be true of his delusion in its final form, a study of the Denkwiirdigkeiten compels us to take a very different view of the matter. For we learn that the idea of being transformed into a woman (that is, of being emasculated) was the primary delusion, that he began by regarding that act as constituting a serious injury and perse� cution, and that it only became related to his playing the part of Redeemer in a secondary way. There can be no doubt, moreover, that originally he believed that the transformation was to be effected for the purpose of sexual abuse and not so as to serve higher designs. The position may be formulated by saying that a sexual delusion of persecution was later on converted in the patient's mind into a religious delusion of grandeur. The part of persecutor was at first assigned to Pro­ fessor Flechsig, the physician in whose charge he was; later, his place was taken by God Himself.




I will quote the relevant passages from the Denkwiirdigkeiten in full: 'In this way a conspiracy against me was brought to a head (in about March or April, 1894). Its object was to con­ trive that, when once my nervous complaint had been recog­ nized as incurable or assumed to be so, I should be handed over to a certain person in a particular manner: my soul was to be delivered up to him, but my body-owing to a misapprehen­ sion of what I have described above as the purpose underlying the Order of Things-was to be transformed into a female body, and as such surrendered to the person in question1 with a view to sexual abuse, and was then simply to be "left on one side" that is to say, no doubt, given over to corruption.' (56.) 'It was, moreover, perfectly natural that from the human standpoint (which was the one by which at that time I was still chiefly governed) I should regard Professor Flechsig or his soul as my only true enemy-at a later date there was also the von W. soul, about which I shall have more to say presently­ and that I should look upon God Almighty as my natural ally. I merely fancied that He was in great straits as regards Pro­ fessor Flechsig, and consequently felt myself bound to support Him by every conceivable means, even to the length of sacrific­ ing myself. It was not until very much later that the idea forced itself upon my mind that God Himself had played the part of accomplice, if not of instigator, in the plot whereby my soul was to be murdered and my body used like a strumpet. I may say, in fact, that this idea has in part become clearly conscious to me only in the course of writing the present work.' (59.) 'Every attempt at murdering my soul, or at emasculating me for purposes contrary to the Order of Things (that is, for the gratification of the sexual appetites of a human individual), or later at destroying my understanding-every such attempt has come to nothing. From this apparently unequal struggle between one weak man and God Himself, I have emerged as the victor-though not without undergoing much bitter suffering and privation-because the Order of Things stands upon my side.' (61.) In a footnote attached to the words 'contrary to the Order of Things ' in the above passage, the author foreshadows the 1 It is shown from the context in this and other passages that 'the person in question' who was to practise this abuse was none other than Flechsig. (See below [p. 38ff.].)



subsequent transformation in his delusion of emasculation and in his relation to God: 'I shall show later on that emasculation for quite another purpose-a purpose in consonance with the Order of Things-is within the bounds of possibility, and, indeed, that it may quite probably afford the solution of the conflict.' These statements are of decisive importance in determining the view we are to take of the delusion of emasculation and in thus giving us a general understanding of the case. It may be added that the 'voices' which the patient heard never treated his transformation into a woman as anything but a sexual disgrace, which gave them an excuse for jeering at him. 'Rays of God 1 not infrequently thought themselves entitled to mock at me by calling me "Miss 2 Schreber", in allusion to the emasculation which, it was alleged, I was about to undergo.' (127.) Or they would say: 'So this sets up to have been a Senatsprasident, this person who lets himself be f-d!'3 Or again: 'Don't you feel ashamed in front of your wife?' [177.] That the emasculation phantasy was of a primary nature and originally independent of the Redeemer motif becomes still more probable when we recollect the 'idea' which, as I men­ tioned on an earlier page [p. 13], occurred to him while he was half asleep, to the effect that it must be nice to be a woman submitting to the act of copulation (36.) This phantasy ap­ peared during the incubation period of his illness, and before he had begun to feel the effects of overwork in Dresden. Schreber himself gives the month of November, 1895, as the date at which the connection was established between the emasculation phantasy and the Redeemer idea and the way thus paved for his becoming reconciled to the former. 'Now, however,' he writes, 'I became clearly aware that the Order of Things imperatively demanded my emasculation, whether I personally liked it or no, and that no reasonable course lay open to me but to reconcile myself to the thought of being trans­ formed into a woman. The further consequence of my emascula­ tion could, of course, only be my impregnation by divine rays 1 The 'rays of God', as we shall see (p. 23], are identical with the voices which talked the 'basic language'. 1 [In English in the original.] 1 I reproduce this omission from the Denkwilrdigkeiten, just as I do all the peculiarities of their author's way of writing. I myself should have found no reason for being so shamefaced over a serious matter.



to the end that a new race of men might be created.• (177.) The idea of being transformed into a woman was the salient feature and the earliest germ of his delusional system. It also proved to be the one part of it that persisted after his cure, and the one part that was able to retain a place in his behaviour in real life after he had recovered. 'The on[y thing which could appear unreasonable in the eyes of other people is the fact, already touched upon in the expert's report, that I am some­ times to be found stap.ding before the mirror or elsewhere, with the upper portion of my body bared, and wearing sundry feminine adornments, such as ribbons, false necklaces, and the like. This only occurs, I may add, when I am by myself, and never, at least so far as I am able to avoid it, in the presence of other people.' (429.) The Herr Senatsprasident confesses to this frivolity at a date (July, 1901) 1 at which he was already in a position to express very aptly the completeness of his recovery in the region of practical life: 'I have now long been aware that the persons I see about me are not "cursorily improvised men" but real people, and that I must therefore behave towards them as a reasonable man is used to behave towards his fellows.' (409.) In contrast to the way in which he put his emasculation phantasy into action, the patient never took any steps towards inducing people to recognize his mission as Redeemer, beyond the publication of his Denkwiirdigkeiten. (b) The attitude of our patient towards God is so singular and so full of internal contradictions that it requires more than a little faith to persist in the belief that there is nevertheless 'method' in his 'madness'. With the help of what Dr. Schreber tells us in the Denkwiirdigkeiten, we must now endeavour to arrive at a more exact view of his theologico-psychological system, and we must expound his opinions concerning nerves, the state ofbliss, the divine hierarcl!J, and the attributes of God, in their manifest (delusional) nexus. At every point in his theory we shall be struck by the astonishing mixture of the commonplace and the clever, of what has been borrowed and what is original. The human soul 2 is comprised in the nerves of the body. These 1

[In his Statement of his Case (see footnote 2, p. 12).] ['Seele.' When used adjectively, the term is here translated 'spiritual'. See, for instance, on p. 23, 'Seelenteile', 'spiritual parts'.] 1



are to be conceived of as structures of extraordinary fineness, comparable to the finest thread. Some of these nerves are suited only for the reception of sense-perceptions, while others (the nerves ofunderstanding) carry out all the functions of the mind; and in this connection it is to be noticed that each single nerve of understanding represents a person's entire mental individualiry, and that the presence of a greater or lesser number of nerves of under­ standing has no influence except upon the length of time during which the mind can retain its impressions. 1 Whereas, men consist of bodies and nerves, God is from His very nature nothing but nerve. But the nerves of God are not, as is the case with human bodies, present in limited numbers, but are infinite or eternal. They possess all the properties of human nerves to an enormously intensified degree. In their creative capacity-that is, their power of turning themselves into every imaginable object in the created world-they are known as rqys. There is an intimate relation between God and the starry heaven and the sun.2 When the work of creation was finished, God withdrew to an immense distance (10-11 and 252) and, in general, resigned the world to its own laws. He limited His activities to drawing up to Himself the souls of the dead. It was only in exceptional instances that He would enter into relations with particular, highly gifted persons, 3 or would intervene by means of a miracle in the destinies of the world. God does not have any 1 The words in which Schreber states this theory are italicized by him, and he adds a footnote, in which he insists that it can be used as an explanation of heredity: 'The male semen', he declares, 'contains a nerve belonging to the father, and it unites with a nerve taken from the mother's body to form a new entity.' (7.) Here, therefore, we find a quality properly belonging to the spermatozoon transferred on to the nerves, which makes it probable that Schreber's 'nerves' are derived from the sphere of ideas connected with sexuality. It not infrequently happens in the Denkwurdigkeiten that an incidental note upon some piece of delusional theory gives us the desired indication of the genesis of the delusion and so of its meaning. [Cf. below, p. 35 f.] 1 In this connection see my discussion below on the significance of the sun [p. 53 ff.].-The comparison between (or rather the condensation of) nerves and rays may well have been based on the linear extension which they have in common.-The ray-nerves, by the way, are no less creative than the spermatozoon-nerves. • In the 'basic language' (see below [p. 23]) this is described as 'making a nerve-connection with them'.



regular communication with human souls, in accordance with the Order of Things, till after death. 1 When a man dies, his spiritual parts 1 ( that is, his nerves) undergo a process of puri­ fication before being finally reunited with God Himself as 'fore­ courts of Heaven'. Thus it comes about that everything moves in an eternal round, which lies at the basis of the Order of Things. In creating anything, God is parting with a portion of Himself, or is giving a portion of His nerves a different shape. The apparent loss which He thus sustains is made good when, after hundreds and thousands of years, the nerves of dead men, that have entered the state of bliss, once more accrue to Him as 'fore-courts of Heaven' (18 and 19 n.). Souls that have passed through the process of purification enter into the enjoyment of a state of hliss. 3 In the meantime they have lost some of their individual consciousness, and have become fused together with other souls into higher unities. Im­ portant souls, such as those of men like Goethe, Bismarck, etc., may have to retain their sense of identity for hundreds of years to come, before they too can become resolved into higher soul­ complexes, such as 'Jehovah rays' in the case of ancient Jewry, or 'Zoroaster rays' in the case of ancient Persia. In the course of their purification 'souls learn the language which is spoken by God himself, the so-called "basic language", a vigorous though somewhat antiquated German, which is especially character­ ized by its great wealth of euphemisms'' (13). God Himself is not a simple entity. 'Above the "fore-courts of Heaven" hovered God :{fimself, who, in contradistinction 1 We shall find later [p. 24 ff.] that certain criticisms against God are based on this fact. 1 [See footnote 2, p. 21.] 8 This consists essentially in a feeling of voluptuousness (see below [p. 29]). [The German word here translated 'state of bliss' is 'Seligkeit', literally, 'state of being blessed (selig)'. 'Selig' is used in various senses, -'blessed', 'blissful', and also, euphemistically, 'dead'. (See Freud's footnote 2 below, p. 30.)] ' On one single occasion during his illness the patient was vouchsafed the privilege of seeing, with his spiritual eyes, God Almighty clear and undisguised before him. On that occasion God uttered what was a very current word in the basic language, and a forcible though not an amiable one-the word 'Slut!' (136). [In German 'Luder'. This term of abuse is occasionally applied to males, though much more often to females.-Freud returns to a discussion of the 'basic language' at the end of Lecture X in his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).]



to these "anterior realms of God", was also described as the "posterior realms of God". The posterior realms of God were, and still are, divided in a strange manner into two parts, so that a lower God (Ahriman) was differentiated from an upper God (Ormuzd).' (19.) As regards the significance of this division Schreber can tell us no more than that the lower God was more especially attached to the peoples of a dark race (the Semites) and the upper God to those of a fair race (the Aryans); nor would it be reasonable, in such sublime matters, to expect more of human knowledge. Nevertheless, we are also told that 'in spite of the fact that in certain respects God Almighty forms a unity, the lower and the upper God must be regarded as separate Beings, each of which possesses its own particular egoism and its own particular instinct of self-preservation, even in relation to the other, and each of which is therefore constantly endeavouring to thrust itself in front of the other' (140 n.). Moreover, the two divine Beings behaved in quite different ways towards the unlucky Schreber during the acute stage of his illness. 1 In the days before his illness Senatsprasident Schreber had been a doubter in religious matters (29 and 64); he hact' never been able to persuade himself into a firm belief in the existence of a personal God. Indeed, he adduces this fact about his earlier life as an argument in favour of the complete reality of his delusions.2 But any one who reads the account which follows of the character-traits of Schreber's God will have to allow that the transformation effected by the paranoic disorder was no very fundamental one, and that in the Redeemer of to-day much remains of the doubter of yesterday. For there is a flaw in the Order of Things, as a result of which 1 A footnote on page 20 leads us to suppose that a passage in Byron's Manfred may have determined Schreber's choice of the names of Persian divinities. We shall later come upon further evidence of the influence of this poem on him. [P. 44.] 1 'That it was simply a matter of illusions seems to me to be in "!Y case, from the very nature of things, psychologically unthinkable. For illusions of holding communication with God or with departed souls can properly only arise in the minds of persons who, before falling into their condition of pathological nervous excitement, already have a firm belief in God and in the immortality of the soul. This was not by any means so, however, in my case, as has been explained at the beginning of this chapter' (79.)



the existence of God Himself seems to be endangered. Owing to circumstances which are incapable of further explanation, the nerves of living men, especially when in a condition of intense excitement, may exercise such a powerful attraction upon the nerves of God that He cannot get free from them again, and thus His own existence may be threatened (11). This exceedingly rare occurrence took place in Schreber's case and involved him in the greatest sufferings. The instinct of self-preservation was aroused in God (30), and it then became evident that God was far removed from the perfection ascribed to him by religions. Through the whole of Schreber's book there runs the bitter complaint that God, being only accustomed to communication with the dead, does not understand living men. 'In this connection, however, a fundamental misunderstanding prevails, which has since run through my whole life like a scarlet thread. It is based precisely upon the fact that, in accordance with the Order of Things, God really knew nothing about living men and did not need to know; consonantly with the Order of Things, He needed only to have communication with corpses.' (55. )-'This state of things ... I am convinced, is once more to be brought into connection with the fact that God was, if I may so express it, quite incapable of dealing with living men, and was only accustomed to communicate with corpses, or at most with men as they lay asleep (that is, in their dreams).' (141.)-'I myself feel inclined to exclaim: "lncredibile scriptu!'' Yet it is all literally true, however difficult it may be for other people to grasp the idea of God's complete inability to judge living men correctly, and however long I myself took to accus­ tom myself to this idea after my innumerable observations upon the subject.' (246.) But as a result of God's misunderstanding of living men it was possible for Him Himself to become the instigator of the plot against Schreber, to take him for an idiot, and to subject him to these severe ordeals (264). To avoid being set down as an idiot, he submitted himself to an extremely burdensome system of 'enforced thinking'. For 'every time that my intellectual activities ceased, God jumped to the conclusion that my mental faculties were extinct and that the destruction of my under­ standing (the idiocy), for which He was hoping, had actually set in, and that a withdrawal had now become possible' (206). The behaviour of God in the matter of the urge to evacuate S.F.XIl-0



(or 'sh-') rouses him to a specially high pitch ofindignation. The passage is so characteristic that I will quote it in full. But to make it clear I must first explain that both the miracles and the voices proceed from God, that is, from the divine rays. 'Although it will necessitate my touching upon an unsavoury subject, I must devote a few more words to the question that I have just quoted ("Why don't you sh-?") on account of the typical character of the whole business. The need for evacua­ tion, like all else that has to do with my body, is evoked by a miracle. It is brought about by my faeces being forced forwards (and sometimes backwards again) in my intestines; and if, owing to there having already been an evacuation, enough material is not present, then such small remains as there may still be of the contents of my intestines are smeared over my anal orifice. This occurrence is a miracle performed by the upper God, and it is repeated several dozens of times at the least every day. It is associated with an idea which is utterly incomprehensible to human beings and can only be accounted for by God's complete ignorance of living man as an organism. According to this idea "sh-ing" is in a certain sense the final act; that is to say, when once the urge to sh- has been miracled up, the aim of destroying the understanding is achieved and a final withdrawal of the rays becomes possible. To get to the bottom of the origin ofthis idea, we must suppose, as it seems to me, that there is a misapprehension in connection with the symbolic meaning of the act of evacuation, a notion, in fact, that any one who has been in such a relation as I have with divine rays is to some extent entitled to sh- upon thewhole world. 'But now what follows reveals the full perfidy1 of the policy that has been pursued towards me. Almost every time the need for evacuation was miracled up in me, some other person in my vicinity was sent (by having his nerves stimulated for that pur­ pose) to the lavatory, in order to prevent my evacuating. This is a phenomenon which I have observed for years and upon such countless occasions-thousands of them-and with such regu­ larity, as to exclude any possibility of its being attributable to chance. And thereupon comes the question: "Why don't you sh-?" to which the brilliant repartee is made that I am "so 1 In a footnote at this point the author endeavours to mitigate the harshness of the word 'perfidy' by a reference to one of his arguments in justification of God. These will be discussed presently [p. 28].



stupid or something". The pen well-nigh shrinks from recording so monumental a piece of absurdity as that God, blinded by His ignorance of human nature, can positively go to such lengths as to suppose that there can exist a man too stupid to do what every animal can dC>-'-too stupid to be able to sh-. When, upon the occasion of such an urge, I actually succeed in evacuating-and as a rule, since I nearly always find the lava­ tory engaged, I use a pail for the purpose-the process is always accompanied by the generation of an exceedingly strong feeling of spiritual voluptuousness. For the relief from the pressure caused by the presence of the faeces in the intestines produces a sense of intense well-being in the nerves of voluptuousness; and the same is equally true of making water. For this reason, even down to the present day, while I am passing stool or making water, all the rays are always without exception united; for this very reason, whenever I address myself to these natural functions, an attempt is invariably made, though as a rule in vain, to miracle backwards the urge to pass stool and to make water.' 1 (225-7.) Furthermore, this singular God of Schreber's is incapable of learning anything by experience: 'Owing to some quality or other inherent in his nature, it seems to be impossible for God to derive any lessons for the future from the experience thus gained.' (186.) He can therefore go on repeating the same tor­ menting ordeals and miracles and voices, without alteration, year after year, until He inevitably becomes a laughing-stock to the victim of His persecutions. 'The consequence is that, now that the miracles have to a great extent lost the power which they formerly possessed of producing terrifying effects, God strikes me above all, in almost everything that happens to me, as being ridiculous or childish. As regards my own behaviour, this often results in my being obliged in self-defence to play the part of a scoffer at God, and even, on occasion, to scoff at Him aloud.' (333.) 2 1 This confession to a pleasure in the excretory processes, which we have learnt to recognize as one of the auto-erotic components of infantile sexuality, may be compared with the remarks made by little Hans in my 'Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy' (1909b), Standard Ed., 10, 97. 1 Even in the basic language it occasionally happened that Go was d not the abuser but the abused. For instance: 'Deuce take it! What a thing to have to say-that God lets himself be f-d!' (194-.)



This critical and rebellious attitude towards God is, how­ ever, opposed in Schreber's mind by an energetic counter­ current, which finds expression in many places: 'But here again I must most emphatically declare that this is nothing more than an episode, which will, I hope, terminate at the latest with my decease, and that the right of scoffing at God belongs in con­ sequence to me alone and not to other men. For them He re­ mains the almighty creator of Heaven and earth, the first cause of all things, and the salvation of their future, to whom-not­ withstanding that a few of the conventional religious ideas may require revision-worship and the deepest reverence are due.' (333-4.) Repeated attempts are therefore made to find a justification for God's behaviour to the patient. In these attempts, which display as much ingenuity as every other theodicy, the explana­ tion is based now upon the general nature of souls, and now upon the necessity for self-preservation under which God lay, and upon the misleading influence of the Flechsig soul (60-1 and 160). In general, however, the illness is looked upon as a struggle between Schreber the man and God, in which victory lies with the man, weak though he is, because the Order of Things is on his side (61). The medica report might easily lead us to suppose that Schreber exhibited the everyday form of Redeemer phantasy, in which the patient believes he is the son of God, destined to save the world from its misery or from the destruction that is threatening it, and so on. It is for this reason that I have been careful to present in detail the peculiarities of Schreber's rela­ tion to God. The significance ofthis relation for the rest ofman­ kind is only rarely alluded to in the Denkwiirdigkeiten and not until the last phase of his delusional formation. It consists essentially in the fact that no one who dies can enter the state ofbliss so long as the greater part ofthe rays of God are absorbed in his (Schreber's)1 person, owing to his powers of attraction (32). It is only at a very late stage, too, that his identification with Jesus Christ makes an undisguised appearance (338 and


No attempt at explaining Schreber's case will have any chance of being correct which does not take into account these 1

[The word in brackets was added in 1924.]



peculiarities in his conception of God, this mixture of reverence and rebellioqsness in his attitude towards Him. I will now tum to another subject, which is closely related to God, namely, the state of bliss. 1 This is also spoken of by Schreber as 'the life beyond' to which the human soul is raised after death by the process of purification. He describes it as a state of uninterrupted enjoyment, bound up with the contem­ plation of God. This is not very original, but on the other hand it is surprising to learn that Schreber makes a distinction between a male and a female state of bliss. 2 'The male state of bliss was superior to the female, which seems to have consisted chiefly in an uninterrupted feeling of voluptuousness.' ( 18.) In other passages this coincidence between the state of bliss and voluptuousness is expressed in plainer language and without reference to sex-distinction; and moreover that element of the state of bliss which consists in the contemplation of God is not further discussed. Thus, for instance: 'The nature of the nerves of God, is such that the state of bliss .•• is accompanied by a very intense sensation of voluptuousness, even though it does not consist exclusively ofit.' (51.) And again: 'Voluptuousness may be regarded as a fragment of the state of bliss given in advance, as it were, to men and other living creatures.' (281.) So the state of heavenly bliss is to be understood as being in its essence an intensified continuation of sensual pleasure upon earth! This view of the state of bliss was far from being an element in Schreber's delusion that originated in the first stages of his illness and was later eliminated as being incompatible with the rest. So late as in the Statement of his Case, drawn up by the patient for the Appeal Court in July, 1901, he emphasizes as [See footnote 3, p. 23.] It would be much more in keeping with the wish-fulfilment offered by the life beyond that in it we shall at last be free from the difference between the sexes. 1


Und jene himmlischen Gestalten sie fragen nicht nach Mann und Weib. [From Mignon's Song in Goethe's Chapter 2.

Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, Book VIII,

And those calm shining sons of mom They ask not who is maid or boy. (Carlyle's Translation.)]



one of his greatest discoveries the fact 'that voluptuousness stands in a close relationship (not hitherto perceptible to the rest of mankind) to the state of bliss enjoyed by departed spirits' [442]. 1 We shall find, indeed, that this 'close relationship' is the rock upon which the patient builds his hopes of an eventual reconciliation with God and of his sufferings being brought to an end. The rays of God abandon their hostility as soon as they are certain that in becoming absorbed into his body they will experience spiritual voluptuousness ( 133); God Himself demands that He shall be able to find voluptuousness in him (283), and threatens him with the withdrawal of His rays if he neglects to cultivate voluptuousness and cannot offer God what He demands (320). This surprising sexualization of the state of heavenly bliss suggests the possibility that Schreber's concept of the state of bliss is derived from a condensation of the two principal mean­ ings of the German word 'selig'-namely, 'dead' and 'sensually happy'. 2 But this instance of sexualization will also give us occasion to examine the patient's general attitude to the erotic side of life and to questions of sexual indulgence. For we psycho­ analysts have hitherto supported the view that the roots of every nervous and mental disorder are chiefly to be found in the patient's sexual life-some of us merely upon em­ pirical grounds, others influenced in addition by theoretical considerations. The samples of Schreber's delusions that have already been given enable us without more ado to dismiss the suspicion that it might be precisely this paranoid disorder which would tum The possibility of this discovery of Schreber's having a deeper meaning is discussed below. [The reference is perhaps to p. 47 ff.] 1 [See footnote 3, p. 23 above.] Extreme instances of the two uses of the word are to be found in the phrase 'mein seliger Vater' ['my late father'] and in these lines from [the German text of 'Laci daretn'] the duet in Don Giovanni: 1

Ja, dein zu sein auf ewig, wie selig werd' ich sein. [Ah, to be thine for ever­ How blissful I should be!] But the fact that the same word should be used in our language in two such different situations cannot be without significance.



out to be the 'negative case' which has so long been sought for­ a case in which sexuality plays only a very minor part. Schreber himself speaks again and again as though he shared our pre­ judice. He is constantly talking in the same breath of 'nervous disorder' and erotic lapses, as though the two things were inseparable.1 Before his illness Senatsprasident Schreber had been a man of strict morals: 'Few people', he declares, and I see no reason to doubt his assertion, 'can have been brought up upon such strict moral principles as I was, and few people, all through their lives, can have exercised (especially in sexual matters) a self-restraint conforming so closely to those principles as I may say of myself that I have done.' (281.) After the severe spiritual struggle, of which the phenomena of his illness were the out­ ward signs, his attitude towards the erotic side of life was altered. He had come to see that the cultivation of voluptuous­ ness was incumbent upon him as a duty, and that it was only by discharging this duty that he could end the grave conflict which had broken out within him---'-Or,, as he thought, about him. Voluptuousness, so the voices assured him, had become 'God­ fearing' and he could only regret that he was not able to devote himself to its cultivation the whole day long. 2 (285.) Such then, was the result of the changes produced in Schreber 'When moral corruption ("voluptuous excesses") or perhaps nervous disorder had taken a strong enough hold upon the whole population of any terrestrial body', then, thinks Schreber, bearing in mind the Biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Deluge, etc., the world in question might come to a catastrophic end (52).-'[A rumour] sowed fear and terror among men, wrecked the foundations of religion, and spread abroad general nervous disorders and immorality, so that devastating pestilences have descended upon mankind.' (91.)­ 'Thus it seems probabl_e that by a "Prince of Hell" the souls meant the uncanny Power that was able to develop in a sense hostile to God as a result of moral depravity among men or of a general state of excessive nervous excitement following upon over-civilization.' (163.) 1 In connection with his delusions he writes: 'This attraction [i.e. the attraction exercised by Schreber upon the nerves of God (see p. 25)], however, lost its terrors for the nerves in question, if, and in so far as, upon entering my boqy, they encountered a feeling qf spiritual voluptuousness in which they themselves shared. For, if this happened, they found an equivalent or approximately equivalent substitute in my body for the state of heavenly bliss which they had lost, and which itself consisted in a kind of voluptuous enjoyment.' ( 179-80.) 1



by his illness, as we find them expressed in the two main features of his delusional system. Before it he had been inclined to sexual asceticism and had been a doubter in regard to God; while after it he was a believer in God and a devotee of voluptuous­ ness. But just as his re-conquered belief in God was of a peculiar kind, so too the sexual enjoyment which he had won for him­ self was of a most unusual character. It was not the sexual liberty of a man, but the sexual feelings of a woman. He took up a feminine attitude towards God; he felt that he was God's wifie. 1 No other part of his delusions is treated by the patient so exhaustively, one might almost say so insistently, as his alleged transformation into a woman. The nerves absorbed by him have, so he says, assumed in his body the character of female nerves of voluptuousness, and have given to his body a more or less female stamp, and more particularly to his skin a softness peculiar to the female sex (87). If he presses lightly with his fingers upon any part of his body, he can feel these nerves, under the surface of the skin, as a tissue of a thread-like or stringy texture; they are especially present in the region of the chest, where, in a woman, her breasts would be. 'By applying pressure to this tissue, I am able to evoke a sensation of volup­ tuousness such as women experience, and especially if I think of something feminine at the same time.'-(277.) He knows with certainty that this tissue was originally nothing else than nerves of God, which could hardly have lost the character of nerves merely through having passed over into his body (279). By means of what he calls 'drawing' {that is, by calling up visual images) he is able to give both himself and the rays an impres­ sion that his body is fitted out with female breasts and genitals: 'It has become so much a habit with me to draw female 1 'Something occurred in my own body similar to the conception of Jesus Christ in an immaculate virgin, that is, in a woman who had never had intercourse with a man. On two separate occasions (and while I was still in Professor Flechsig's institution) I have possessed female genitals, though somewhat imperfectly developed ones, and have felt a stirring in my body, such as would arise from the quickening of a human embryo. Nerves of God corresponding to male semen had, by a divine miracle, been projected into my body, and impregnation had thus taken place.' (Introduction, 4.) [Schreber's book includes both a preface and an introduction as well as a prefatory 'Open Letter to Professor Flechsig'. Cf. p. IO, n. 4 and p. 38, n. I.]



buttocks on to my body-honi soit qui mal y pense-that I do it almost involuntarily every time I stoop.' (233.) He is 'bold enough to assert that anyone who should happen to see me before the mirror with the upper portion of my torso bared­ especially if the illusion is assisted by my wearing a little feminine finery-would receive an unmistakable impression of a female bust'. (280.) He calls for a medical examination, in order to establish the fact that his whole body has nerves of voluptuousness dispersed over it from head to foot, a state of things which is only to be found, in his opinion, in the female body, whereas, in the male, to the best of his knowledge, nerves of voluptuousness exist only in the sexual organs and their im­ mediate vicinity (274). The spiritual voluptuousness which has been developed owing to this accumulation of nerves in his body is so intense that it only requires a slight effort of his imagination (especially when he is lying in bed) to procure him a feeling of sensual well-being that affords a tolerably clear adumbration of the sexual pleasure enjoyed by a woman during copulation (269). If we now recall the dream which the patient had during the incubation period of his illness, before he had moved to Dresden [p. 13], it will become clear beyond a doubt that his delusion of being transformed into a woman was nothing else than a realization of the content of that dream. At that time he had rebelled against the dream with masculine indignation, and in the same way he began by striving against its fulfilment in his illness and looked upon his transformation into a woman as a disgrace with which he was threatened with hostile inten­ tion. But there came a time (it was in November, 1895) when he began to reconcile himself to the transformation and bring it into harmony with the higher purposes of God: 'Since then, and with a full consciousness of what I did, I have inscribed upon my banner the cultivation offemaleness.' (177-8.) He then arrived at the firm conviction that it was God Himself who, for His own satisfaction, was demanding female­ ness from him: 'No sooner, however, am I alone with God (if I may so express it), than it becomes a necessity for me to employ every imaginable device and to summon up the whole of my mental faculties, and especially my imagination, in order to bring it about that the divine rays may have the impression as



continuously as possible (or, since this is beyond mortal power, at least at certain times of day) that I am a woman luxuriating in voluptuous sensations.' (281.) 'On the other hand, God demands a constant state of enjoyment, such as would be in keeping with the conditions of existence imposed upon souls by the Order of Things; and it is my duty to provide Him with this ••• in the shape of the greatest possible generation of spiritual voluptuousness. And if, in this process, a little sensual pleaiure falls to my share, I feel justified in accepting it as some slight compensation for the inordinate measure of suffering and privation that has been mine for so many past years .. .' (283.) '•.. I think I may even venture to advance the view based upon impressions I have received, that God would never take any steps towards effecting a withdrawal-the first result of which is invariably to alter my physical condition markedly for the worse-but would quietly and permanently yield to my powers of attraction, if it were possible for me always to be playing the part of a woman lying in my own amorous em­ braces, alwqys to be casting my looks upon female forms, always to be gazing at pictures of women, and so on.' (284-5.) In Schreber's system the two principal elements of his delu­ sions (his transformation into a woman and his favoured relation to God) are linked in his assumption of a feminine attitude towards God. It will be an unavoidable part of our task to show that there is an essential genetic relation between these two elements. Otherwise our attempts at elucidating Schreber's delusions will leave us in the absurd position des­ cribed in Kant's famous simile in the Critique of Pure Reason-we shall be like a man holding a sieve under a he-goat while some one else milks it.


ATTEMPTS AT INTERPRETATION THERE are two angles from which we could attempt to reach an understanding of this history of a case of paranoia and to lay bare in it the familiar complexes and motive forces of mental life. We might start either from the patient's own delusional utterances or from the exciting causes of his illness. The former method must seem enticing since the brilliant example given us by Jung [1907] in his interpretation of a case of dementia praecox which was far severer than this one and which exhibited symptoms far more remote from the normal. The high level of our present patient's intelligence, too, and his communicativeness, seem likely to facilitate the accom­ plispment of our task along these lines. He himself not in­ frequently presses the key into our hands, by adding a gloss, a quotation or an example to some delusional proposition in an apparently incidental manner, or even by expressly denying some parallel to it that has arisen in his own mind. For when this happens, we have only to follow our usual psycho-analytic technique-to strip his sentence of its negative form, to take his example as being the actual thing, or his quotation or gloss as being the original source-and we find ourselves in possession of what we are looking for, namely a translation of the paranoic mode of expression into the normal one. It is perhaps worth giving a more detailed illustration of this procedure. Schreber complains of the nuisance created by the so-called 'miracled birds' or 'talking birds', to which he ascribes a number of very remarkable qualities (208-14). It is his belief that they are composed of former 'fore-courts of Heaven', that is, of human souls which have entered into a state of bliss, and that they have been loaded with ptomaine 1 poison and set on to him. They have been brought to the condition of repeating 'meaningless phrases which they have learnt by heart' and which have been 'dinned into them'. Each time that they have discharged their load of ptomaine poison on to him-that is, each time that they have 'reeled off the phrases which have 1

[German 'uichengift', literally 'corpse poison'.] 35



been dinned into them, as it were'-they become to some extent absorbed into his soul, with the words 'The deuce of a fellow!' or 'Deuce take it!' which are the only words they are still capable of using to express a genuine feeling. They cannot understand the meaning of the words they speak, but they are by nature susceptible to similarity of sounds, though the similarity need not necessarily be a complete one. Thus it is immaterial to them whether one says:

'Santiago' or 'Karthago', 'Chinesentum' or 'Jesum Christum', 'Abendrot' or 'Atemnot', 'Ariman' or 'Ackermann' etc.1 (210.) & we read this description, we cannot avoid the idea that what it really refers to must be young girls. In a carping mood people often compare them to geese, ungallantly accuse them of having 'the brains of a bird' and declare that they can say nothing but phrases learnt by rote and they betray their lack of education by confusing foreign words that sound alike. The phrase 'The deuce of a fellow!', which is the only thing that they are serious about, would in that case be an allusion to the triumph of the young man who has succeeded in impressing them. And, sure enough, a few pages later we come upon a passage in which Schreber confirms this interpretation: 'For purposes of distinction, I have as a joke given girls' names to a great number of the remaining bird-souls; since by their in­ quisitiveness, their voluptuous bent, etc., they one and all most readily suggest a comparison with little girls. Some of these girls' names have since been adopted by the rays of God and have been retained as a designation of the bird-souls in ques­ tion.' (214.) This easy interpretation of the 'miracled birds' gives us a hint which may help us towards understanding the enigmatic 'fore-courts of Heaven'. I am quite aware that a psycho-analyst needs no small amount of tact and restraint whenever in the course of his work he goes beyond the typical instances of interpretation, and that his listeners or readers will only follow him as far as 1

['Santiago' or 'Carthage', 'Chinese-dom' or 'Jesus Christ', 'SW1Set' or 'Breathlessness', 'Ahriman' or 'Farmer'.]



their own familiarity with analytic technique will allow them. He has every reason, therefore, to guard against the risk that an increased display of acumen on his part may be accom­ panied by a diminution in the certainty and trustworthiness of his results. It is thus only natural that one analyst will tend too much in the direction of caution and another too much in the direction of boldness. It will not be possible to define the proper limits ofjustifiable interpretation until ·many experiments have been made and until the subject has become more familiar. In working upon the case of Schreber I have had a policy of restraint forced on me by the circumstance that the opposition to his publishing the Denkwiirdigkeiten was so far effective as to withhold a considerable portion of the material from our know­ ledge-the portion, too, which would in all probability have thrown the most important light upon the case.1 Thus, for instance, the third chapter of the book opens with this promis­ ing announcement: 'I shall now proceed to describe certain events which occurred to other members of 11'!JI family and which may conceivably have been connected with the soul-murder I have postulated; for there is at any rate something more or less problematical about all of them, something not easily explicable upon the lines of ordinary human experience.' (33.) But the next sentence, which is also the last of the chapter, is as follows: 'The remainder of this chapter has been withheld from print as being unsuitable for publication.' I shall therefore have to be satisfied if I can succeed in tracing back at any rate the nucleus of the delusional structure with some degree of certainty to familiar human motives. With this object in view I shall now mention a further small 1 'When we survey the contents of this document', writes Dr. Weber in his report, 'and consider the mass of indiscretions in regard to himself and other persons which it contains, when we observe the unblushing manner in which he describes situations and events which are of the most delicate nature and indeed, in an aesthetic sense, utterly im­ possible, when we reflect upon his use of strong language of the most offensive kind, and so forth, we shall find it quite impossible to under­ stand how a man, distinguished apart from this by his tact and refine­ ment, could contemplate taking a step so compromising to himself in the public eye, unless we bear in mind the fact that .••' etc.etc. (402.) Surely we can hardly expect that a case history which sets out to give a picture of deranged humanity and its struggles to rehabilitate itself should exhibit 'discretion' and 'aesthetic' charm.



piece of the case history to which sufficient weight is not given in the reports, although the patient himself has done all he can to put it in the foreground. I refer to Schreber's relations to his first physician, Geheimrat Prof. Flechsig of Leipzig. As we already know, Schreber's case at first took the form of delusions of persecution, and did not begin to lose it until the turning-point of his illness (the time of his 'reconciliation'). From that time onwards the persecutions became less and less intolerable, and the ignominious purpose which at first under­ lay his threatened emasculation began to be superseded by a purpose in consonance with the Order of Things. But the first author of all these acts of persecution was Flechsig, and he remains their instigator throughout the whole course of the illness. 1 Of the actual nature of Flechsig's enormity and its motives the patient speaks with the characteristic vagueness and obscurity which may be regarded as marks of an especially intense work of delusion-formation, 2 if it is legitimate to judge paranoia on the model of a far more familiar mental pheno­ menon-the dream. Flechsig, according to the patient, com­ mitted, or attempted to commit, 'soul-murder' upon him­ an act which, he thought, was comparable with the efforts made by the devil or by demons to gain possession of a soul, and may have had its prototype in events which occurred between members of the Flechsig and Schreber families long since deceased (22 ff.). We should be glad to learn more of the meaning of this 'soul-murder', but at this point our sources relapse once more into a tendentious silence: 'As to what con­ stitutes the true essence of soul-murder, and as to its technique, if I may so describe it, I am able to say nothing beyond what 1 'Even now the voices that talk with me call out your name to me hundreds of times each day. They name you in certain constantly recurring connections, and especially as being the first author of the injuries I have suffered. And yet the personal relations which existed between us for a time have, so far as I am concerned, long since faded into the background; so that I myself could have little enough reason to be for ever recalling you to my mind, and still less for doing so with any feelings of resentment.' ('Open Letter to Professor Flechsig', viii.) [See footnote, p. 32.] 1 [' Wahnbildungsarbeit'. This is parallel to 'Traumarbeit' ('dream­ work'), the term used in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), Chapter VI.]



has already been indicated. There is only this, perhaps, to be added ... (The passage which follows is unsuitable for publica­ tion.)' (28.) As a result of this omission we are left in the dark on the question of what is meant by 'soul-murder'. We shall refer later on [p. 44] to the only hint upon the subject which has evaded censorship. However this may be, a further development of Schreber's delusions soon took place, which affected his relations to God without altering his relations to Flechsig. Hitherto he had regarded Flechsig (or rather his soul) as his only true enemy and had looked upon God Almighty as his ally; but now he could not avoid the thought that God Himself had played the part of accessory, if not of instigator, in the plot against him. (59.) Flechsig, however, remained the first seducer, to whose influence God had yielded (60). He had succeeded in making his way up to heaven with his whole soul or a part of it and in becoming a 'leader of rays', without dying or undergoing any preliminary purification. 1 (56.) The Flechsig soul continued to play this role even after the patient had been moved from the Leipzig clinic to Dr. Pierson's asylum. 2 The influence of the new environment was shown by the Flechsig soul being joined by the soul of the chief attendant, whom the patient recognized as a person who had formerly lived in the same block of flats as himself. This was represented as being the von W. soul.3 The Flechsig soul then introduced the system of 'soul-division', which assumed large proportions. At one time there were as 1 ['Reinigung.' In the first edition only, 'Peinigung' ('torment'), cer­ tainly a misprint.]-According to another and significant version, which, however, was soon rejected, Professor Flechsig had shot himself, either at Weissenburg in Alsace or in a police cell at Leipzig. The patient saw his funeral go past, though not in the direction that was to be expected in view of the relative positions of the University Clinic and the cemetery. On other occasions Flechsig appeared to him in the company of a policeman, or in conversation with his [Flechsig's] wife. Schreber was a witness of this conversation by the method of 'nerve-connection', and in the course of it Professor Flechsig called himself 'God Flechsig' to his wife, so that she was inclined to think he had gone mad. (82.) 1 [At Lindenhof. See footnote I, p. 14.] 8 The voices informed him that in the course of an official enquiry this von W . had made some untrue statements about him, either deliberately or out of carelessness, and in particular had accused him of masturbation. As a punishment for this he was now obliged to wait on the patient {108).



many as forty to sixty sub.divisions of the Flechsig soul; two of its larger divisions were known as the 'upper Flechsig' and the 'middle Flechsig'. The von W. soul (the chief attendant's) behaved in just the same fashion ( 111). It was sometimes most entertaining to notice the way in which these two souls, 1 in spite of their alliance, carried on a feud with one another, the aristocratic pride of the one pitted against the professorial vanity of the other (113). During his first weeks at Sonnenstein (to which he was finally moved in the summer of 1894) the soul of his new physician, Dr. Weber, came into play; and shortly afterwards the change-over took place in the develop.; ment of his delusions which we have come to know as his 'reconciliation'. During this later stay at Sonnenstein, when God had begun to appreciate him better, a raid was made upon the souls, which had been multiplied so much as to become a nuisance. As a result of this, the Flechsig soul survived in only one or two shapes, and the von W. soul in only a single one. The latter soon disappeared altogether. The divisions of the Flechsig soul, which slowly lost both their intelligence and their power, then came to be described as the 'posterior Flechsig' and the ' "Oh well!" Party'. That the Flechsig soul retained its importance to the last, is made clear by Schreber's prefatory 'Open Letter to Herr Geheimrat Prof. Dr. Flechsig'. 2 In this remarkable document Schreber expresses his firm conviction that the physician who influenced him had the same visions and received the same disclosures upon supernatural things as he himself.. He protests on the very first page that the author of the Denkwurdigkeiten has not the remotest intention of making an attack upon the doctor's honour, and the same point is earnestly and emphatically repeated in the patient's pre­ sentations of his position (343, 445). It is evident that he is endeavouring to distinguish the 'soul Flechsig' from the living man of the same name, the Flechsig of his delusions from the real Flechsig. 3 The study of a number of cases of delusions of persecution 1

[The Flechsig and the von W. souls.] [See footnote 1, p. 38.] 8 'I am accordingly obliged to admit as a possibility that everything in the first chapters of my Denkwurdigkeiten which is connected with 1



has led ·me as well as other investigators to the view that the relation between the patient and his persecutor can be reduced to a simple formula.1 It appears that the person to whom the delusion ascribes so much power and influence, in whose hands all the threads of the conspiracy converge, is, if he is definitely named, either identical with some one who played an equally important part in the patient's emotional life before his illness, or is easily recognizable as a substitute for him. The intensity of the emotion is projected in the shape of external power, while its quality is changed into the opposite. The person who is now hated and feared for being a persecutor was. at one time loved and honoured. The. main purpose of the persecution asserted by the patient's delusion is to justify the change in his emotional attitude. Bearing this point of view in mind, let us now examine the relations which had formerly existed between Schreber and his physician and persecutor, Flechsig. We have already heard [p. 12] that, in the years 1884 and 1885, Schreber suffered from a first attack of nervous disorder, which ran its course 'without the occurrence of any incidents bordering upon the sphere of the supernatural' (35). While he was in this condition, which was described as 'hypochondria' and seems not to have overstepped the limits of a neurosis, Flechsig acted as his doctor. At that time Schreber spent six months in the University Clinic at Leipzig. We learn that after his recovery he had cordial feelings towards his doctor. 'The main thing was that, after a fairly long period of convalescence which I spent in travelling, I was finally cured; and it was therefore impossible that I should feel anything at that time but the liveliest gratitude towards Professor Flechsig. I gave a marked expression to this feeling both in a personal visit which I subsequently paid him and in what I deemed to be an appropriate honorarium.' (35-6.) It is true that Schreber's encomium in the Denkwurdig­ keiten upon this first treatment of Flechsig's is not entirely with­ out reservations; but that can easily be understood if we the name of Flechsig may only refer to the soul Flechsig as distin­ guished from the living man. For that his soul has a separate existence is a certain fact, though it cannot be explained upon any natural basis.' (342-3.) 1 Cf. Abraham, 1908. In the course ofthis paper its author, referring to a correspondence between us, scrupulously attributes to myself an influence upon the development of his views. [Cf. p. 70, n. I.] S.F. xn-D



consider that his attitude had in the meantime been reversed. The passage immediately following the one that has just been quoted bears witness to the original warmth of his feelings towards the physician who had treated him so successfully: 'The gratitude of my wife was perhaps even more heartfelt; for she revered Professor Flechsig as the man who had restored her husband to her, and hence it was that for years she kept his portrait standing upon her writing-table.' (36.) Since we cannot obtain any insight into the causes of the first illness (a knowledge of which isundoubte dly indispensable for properly elucidating the second and severer illness) we must now plunge at random into an unknown concatenation of circumstances. During the incubation period of his illness, as we are aware 1 (that is, between June 1893, when he was appointed to his new post, and the following October, when he took up his duties), he repeatedly dreamt that his old nervous disorder had returned. Once, moreover, when he was half asleep, he had a feeling that after all it must be nice to be a woman submitting to the act of copulation. The dreams and the phantasy are reported by Schreber in immediate succession; and if we also bring together their subject-matter, we shall be able to infer that, at the same time as his recollection of his illness, a recollection of his doctor was also aroused in his mind, and that the feminine attitude which he assumed in the phan­ tasy was from the first directed towards the doctor. Or it may be that the dream of his illness having returned simply ex­ pressed some such longing as: 'I wish I could see Flechsig again!' Our ignorance of the mental content of the first illness bars our way in this direction. Perhaps that illness had left behind in him a feeling of affectionate dependence upon his doctor, which had now, for some unknown reason, become intensified to the pitch of an erotic desire. This feminine phan­ tasy, which was still kept impersonal, was met at once by an indignant repudiation-a true 'masculine protest', to use Adler's expression, but in a sense different from his. 2 But in the severe psychosis which broke out soon afterwards the feminine phantasy carried everything before it; and it only requires a 1 [See p. 13.] Adler (1910). According to Adler the masculine protest has a share in the production of the symptom, whereas in the present instance the patient is protesting against a symptom that is already fully fledged.



slight correction of the characteristic paranoic indefiniteness of Schreber's mode of expression to enable us to divine the fact that the patient was in fear of sexual abuse at the hands of his doctor himself. The exciting cause of his illness, then, was an outburst of homosexual libido; the object of this libido was probably from the very first his doctor, Flechsig; and his struggles against the libidinal impulse produced the conflict which gave rise to the symptoms. I will pause here for a moment to meet a storm of remon­ strances and objections. Any one acquainted with the present state of psychiatry must be prepared to face trouble. 'Is it not an act of irresponsible levity, an indiscretion and a calumny, to charge a man of such high ethical standing as the former Senatsprasident Schreber wjth homosexuality?' -No. The patient has himself informed the world at large of his phan­ tasy of being transformed into a woman, and he has allowed all personal considerations to be outweighed by interests of a higher nature. Thus he has himself given us the right to occupy ourselves with his phantasy, and in translating it into the tech­ nical terminology of medicine we have not made the slightest addition to its content. 'Yes, but he was not in his right mind when he did it. His delusion that he was being transformed into a woman was a pathological idea.'-,We have not forgotten that. Indeed our only concern is with the meaning and origin of this patho­ logical idea. We will appeal to the distinction he himself draws between the man Flechsig and the 'Flechsig soul'. We are not making reproaches of any kind against him-whether for hav­ ing had homosexual impulses or for having endeavoured to suppress them. Psychiatrists should at last take a lesson from this patient, when they see him trying, in spite of his delusions, not to confuse the world of the unconscious with the world of reality. 'But it is nowhere expressly stated that the transformation into a woman which he so much dreaded was to be carried out for the benefit of Flechsig.'-That is true; and it is not difficult to understand why, in preparing his memoirs for publication, since he was anxious not to insult the 'man Flechsig', he should have avoided so gross an accusation. But the toning-down of his language owing to these considerations did not go so far as to be able to conceal the true meaning of his accusation. Indeed,



it may be maintained that after all it is expressed openly in such a passage as the following: 'In this way a conspiracy against me was brought to a head (in about March or April, 1894). Its object was to contrive that, when once my nervous com­ plaint had been recognized as incurable or assumed to be so, I should be handed over to a certain person in such a manner that my soul should be delivered up to him, but my body ••• should be transformed into a female body, and as such sur­ rendered to the person in question with a view to sexual abuse •• .' 1 (56). It is unnecessary to remark that no other individual is ever named who could be put in Flechsig's place. Towards the end of Schreber's stay in the clinic at Leipzig, a fear occurred to his mind that he 'was to be thrown to the attendants' for the purpose of sexual abuse (98). Any remaining doubts that we have upon the nature of the part originally attributed to the doctor are dispelled when, in the later stages of his del_usion, we find Schreber outspokenly admitting his feminine attitude towards God. The other accusation against Flechsig echoes over-loudly through the book. Flechsig, he says, tried to commit soul-murder upon him. As we already know [p. 38 f.], the patient was himself not clear as to the actual nature of that crime, but it was connected with matters of discretion which precluded their publication (as we see from the suppressed third chapter). From this point a single thread takes us further. Schreber illustrates the nature of soul-murder by referring to the legends embodied in Goethe's Faust, Byron's Manfred, Weber's Freischiitz, etc. (22), and one of these instances is further cited in another passage. In discussing the division of God into two persons, Schreber identifies his 'lower God' and 'upper God' with Ahriman and Ormuzd respectively (19); and a little later a casual footnote occurs: 'Moreover, the name of Ahriman also appears in connection with a soul-murder in, for example, Lord Byron's Marifred.' (20.) In the play which is thus referred to there is scarcely anything comparable to the bartering of Faust's soul, and I have searched it in vain for the expression 'soul-murder'. But the essence and the secret of the whole work lies in-an incestuous relation be­ tween a brother and a sister. And here our thread breaks off short. 2 1 The italics in this passage are mine. 1 By way of substantiating the above assertion I will quote a passage



At a later stage in this paper I intend to return to a discussion of some further objections; but in the meantime I shall consider myself justified in maintaining the view that the basis of Schreber's illness was the outburst of a homosexual impulse. This hypothesis harmonizes with a noteworthy detail of the case history, which remains otherwise inexplicable. The patient had a fresh 'nervous collapse', which exercised a decisive effect upon the course of his illness, at a time when his wife was taking a short holiday on account of her own health. Up till then she had spent several hours with him every day and had taken her mid-day meal with him. But when she returned after an absence of four days, she found him most sadly altered: so much so, indeed, that he himself no longer wished to see her. 'What especially determined my mental break-down was a particular night, during which I had a quite extraordinary number of emissions-quite half a dozen, all in that one night.' (44.) It is easy to understand that the mere presence of his wife must have acted as a protection against the attractive power of the men about him; and if we are prepared to admit that an emission cannot occur in an adult without some mental concomitant, we shall be able to supplement the patient's emissions that night by assuming that they were accompanied by homosexual phantasies which remained unconscious. The question of why this outburst of homosexual libido from the last scene of the play, in which Manfred says to the demon who has come to fetch him away: ... my past power Was purchased by no compact with thy crew. There is thus a direct contradiction of a soul having been bartered This mistake on Schreber's part was probably not without its signifi­ cance.-It is plausible, by the way, to connect the plot of Manfred with the incestuous relations which have repeatedly been asserted to exist between the poet and his half-sister.And it is not a little striking that the action of Byron's other play, his celebrated Cain, should be laid in the primal family, where no objections could exist to incest between brother and sister.-Finally, we cannot leave the subject of soul­ murder without q�oting one more passage from the Denkwurdigkeiten: 'in this connection Flechsig used formerly to be named as the first author of soul-murder, whereas for some time past the facts have been deliberately inverted and an attempt has been made to "represent" myself as being the one who practises soul-murder •• .' (23.) fCf. below, p. 53.]



overtook the patient precisely at this period (that is, between the dates of his appointment and of his move to Dresden) cannot be answered in the absence of more precise knowledge of the story of his life. Generally speaking, every human being oscillates all through his life between heterosexual and homo­ sexual feelings, and any frustration or disappointment in the one direction is apt to drive him over into the other. We know nothing of these factors in Schreber's case, but we must not omit to draw attention to a somatic factor which may very well have been relevant. At the time of this illness Dr. Schreber was fifty-one years old, and he had therefore reached an age which is of critical importance in sexual life. It is a period at which in women the sexual function, after a phase of intensified activity, enters upon a process of far-reaching involution; nor do men appear to be exempt from its influence, for men as well as women are subject to a 'climacteric' and to the susceptibili­ ties to disease which go along with it. 1 I can well imagine what a dubious hypothesis it must.appear to be to suppose that a man's friendly feeling towards his doctor can suddenly break out in an intensified form after a lapse of eight years 2 and become the occasion of such a severe mental disorder. But I do not think we should be justified in dismissing such a hypothesis merely on account of its inherent improba­ bility, if it recommends itself to us on other grounds; we ought rather to inquire how far we shall get if we follow it up. For the improbability may be of a passing kind and may be due to the fact that the doubtful hypothesis has not as yet been brought into relation with any other pieces of knowledge and that it is the first hypothesis with which the problem has been approached. But for the benefit of those who are unable to hold their judge1 I owe my knowledge of Schreber's age at the time of his illness to some information which was kindly given me by one of his relatives, through the agency of Dr. Stegmann of Dresden. Apart from this one fact, however, I have made use of no material in this paper that is not derived from the actual text of the Denkwurdigkeiten. [Freud, as we now know, obtained certain other facts from Dr. Stegmann of which he made no use in the published paper. See p. 6, n. I, and p. 50, n. 3.-The significance of the age of 51 is no doubt a survival of Fliess's numerical theories. Cf. the same figure in a dream of Freud's reported in Tu Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), Standard Ed., 5, 438-9.] 2 This was the length of the interval between Schreber's first and second illnes.,cs.



ment in suspense and who regard our hypothesis as altogether untenable, it is easy to suggest a possibility which would rob it of its bewildering character. The patient's friendly feeling towards his doctor may very well have been due to a process of 'transference', by means of which an emotional cathexis became transposed from some person who was important to him on to the doctor who was in reality indifferent to him; so that the doctor will have been chosen as a deputy or surrogate for some one much closer to him.To put the matter in a more concret� form: the patient was reminded of his brother or father by the figure of the doctor, he rediscovered them in him; tpere will then be nothing to wonder at if, in certain circumstances, a longing for the surrogate figure reappeared in him and operated with a violence that is only to be explained in the light of its origin and primary significance. With a view to following up this attempt at an explanation, I naturally thought it worth while discovering whether the patient's father was still alive at the time at which he fell ill, whether he had had a brother, and if so whether he was then living or among the 'blest'. I was pleased, therefore, when, after a prolonged search through the pages of the Denkwurdigkeiten, I came at last upon a passage in which the patient sets these doubts at rest: 'The memory of my father and my brother .•• is as sacred to me as .. .' etc. (442.) So that both of them were dead at the time of the onset of his second illness (and, it may be, of his first illness as well).1 We shall therefore, I think, raise no further objections to the hyp othesis that the exciting cause of the illness was the appear­ ance in him of a feminine (that is, a passive homosexual) wishful phantasy, which took as its object the figure of his doctor. An intense resistance to this phantasy arose on the part of Schreber's personality, and the ensuing defensive struggle, which might perhaps just as well have assumed some other shape, took on, for reasons unknown to us, that of a delusion of persecution. The person he longed for now became his persecutor, and the content of his wishful phantasy became the content of his persecution. It may be presumed that the same schematic outline will turn out to be applicable to other cases of delusions of persecution. What distinguishes Schreber's 1 [His father had died in 1861 and his only brother in 1877 (Baumeyer, 1956, 74 and 69).]



case from others, however, is its further development and the transformation it underwent in the course of it. One such change was the replacement of Flechsig by the superior figure of God. This seems at first as though it were a sign of aggravation of the conflict, an intensification of the unbearable P.ersecution, but it soon becomes evident that it was preparing the way for the second change and, with it, the solution of the conflict. It was impossible for Schreber to become reconciled to playing the part of a female wanton towards his doctor; but the task of providing God Himself with the volup­ tuous sensations that He required called up no such resistance on the part of his ego. Emasculation was now no longer a dis­ grace; it became 'consonant with the Order of Things', it took its place in a great cosmic chain of events, and was instrumental in the re-creation of humanity after its extinction. 'A new race of men, born from the spirit of Schreber' would, so he thought, revere as their ancestor this man who believed himself the victim of persecution. By this means an outlet was provided which would satisfy both of the contending forces. His ego found compensation in his megalomania, while his feminine wishful phantasy made its way through and became acceptable. The struggle and the illness could cease. The patient's sense of reality, however, which had in the meantime become stronger, compelled him to postpone the solution from the present to the remote future, and to content himself with what might be described as an asymptotic wish-fulfilment. 1 Some time or other, he anticipated, his transformation into a woman would come about; until then the pe�onality of Dr. Schreber would remain indestructible. In textbooks of psychiatry we frequently come across state­ ments to the effect that megalomania can develop out of delusions of persecution. The .process is supposed to be as follows. The patient is primarily the victim of a delusion that he is being persecuted by powers of the greatest might. He then feels a need to account to himself for this, and in that way hits on the idea that he himself is a very exalted personage and worthy of such persecution. The development of megalomania 1 'It is only', he writes towards the end of the book, 'as possibilities which must be taken into account, that I mention that my emasculation may even yet be accomplished and may result in a new generation issuing from my womb by divine impregnation.' (293.)



is thus attributed by the textbooks to a process which (borrow­ ing a useful word from Ernest Jones [1908]) we may describe as 'rationalization'. But to ascribe such important affective con­ sequences to a rationalization is, as it seems to us, an entirely unpsychological proceeding; and we would consequently draw a sharp distinction between our opinion and the one which we have quoted from the textbooks. We are making no claim, for the moment, to knowing the origin of the megalomania.1 Turning once more to the case of Schreber, we are bound to admit that any attempt at throwing light upon the transforma­ tion in his delusion brings us up against extraordinary difficul­ ties. In what manner and by what means was the ascent from Flechsig to God brought about? From what source did he derive the megalomania which so fortunately enabled him to become reconciled to his persecution, or, in analytical phraseo­ logy, to accept the wishful phantasy which had had to be repressed? The Denkwi.irdigkeiten give us a first clue; for they show us that in the patient's mind 'Flechsig' and 'God' belonged to the same class. In one of his phantasies he overheard a conversation between Flechsig and his wife, in which the former asserted that he was 'God Flechsig', so that his wife thought he had gone mad (82). But there is another feature in the develop­ ment of Schreber's delusions which claims our attention. If we take a survey of the delusions as a whole we see that the per­ secutor is divided into Flechsig and God; in just the same way Flechsig himself subsequently splits up into two personalities, the 'upper' and the 'middle' Flechsig [p. 40], and God into the 'lower' and the 'upper' God. In the later stages of the illness the decomposition of Flechsig goes further still (193). A process of decomposition of this kind is very characteristic of paranoia. Paranoia decomposes just as hysteria condenses. Or rather, paranoia resolves once more into their elements the products of the condensations and identifications which are effected in the unconscious. 11 The frequent repetition of the decomposing process in Schreber's case would, according to Jung, be an 1 [The question is taken up again below, in connection with the con­ cept of narcissism. See pp. 65 and 72-3.] • [There may possibly be some hint at this notion in the passage from the letter to Fliess of December 9, 1899, which is quoted in the Editor's Note to the paper on 'The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis', p. 315 below.]



expression of the importance which the person in question possessed for him. 1 All of this dividing up of Flechsig and God into a number of persons thus had the same meaning as the splitting of the persecutor into Flechsig and God. They were all duplications of one and the same important relationship. 2 But in order to interpret all these details, we must further draw attention to our view of this decomposition of the persecutor into Flechsig and God as a paranoid reaction to a previously established identification of the two figures or their belonging to the same class. If the persecutor Flechsig was originally a person whom Schreber loved, then God must also simply be the reappearance of some one else whom he loved, and probably some one of greater importance. If we pursue this train of thought, which seems to be a legitimate one, we shall be driven to the conclusion that this other person must have been his father; this makes it all the clearer that Flechsig must have stood for his brother-who, let us hope, may have been older than himself. 3 The feminine phantasy, which aroused such violent opposition in the patient, thus had its root in a longing, intensified to an erotic pitch, for his father and brother. This feeling, so far as it referred to his brother, passed, by a process of transference, on to his doctor, Flechsig; and when it was carried back on to his father a settle­ ment of the conflict was reached. We shall not feel that we have been justified ip. thus introduc­ ing Schreber's father into his delusions, unless the new hypo­ thesis shows itself of some use to us in understanding the case and in elucidating details of the delusions which are as yet 1 Jung (1910a).Jung is probably right when he goes on to say that this decomposition follows the general lines taken by schizophrenia in that it uses a process of analysis in order to produce a watering-down effect, and is thus designed to prevent the occurrence of unduly powerful impressions. When, however, one of his patients said to him: 'Oh, are you Dr. J. too? There was some one here this morning who said he was Dr. J.', we must interpret it as being an admission to this effect: 'You remind me now of a different member of the class of my transferences from the one you reminded me of when you visited me last.' • Otto Rank (1909) has found the same process at work in the formation of myths. • No information on this point is to be found in the Denlcwilrdigkeiten. [His only brother was, in fact, three years his senior (Baumeyer, 1956, 69). Freud had learnt that his 'guess was correct' through Dr. Steg­ mann. (Seep. 6, n. 1, and p. 46, n. I.)]



unintelligible. It will be recalled that Schreber's God and his relations to Him exhibited the most curious features: how they showed the strangest mixture of blasphemous criticism and mutinous insubordination on the one hand and of reverent devotion on the other. God, according to him, had succumbed to the misleading influence of Flechsig: He was incapable of learning anything by experience, and did not understand living men because He only knew how to deal with corpses; and He manifested His power in a succession of miracles which, striking though they might be, were none the less futile and silly. Now the father of Senatspra.sident Dr. Schreber was no in­ significant person. He was the Dr. Daniel Gottlob 1 Moritz Schreber whose memory is kept green to this day by the numerous Schreber Associations which flourish especially in Saxony; and, moreover, he was a physician. His activities in favour of promoting the harmonious upbringing of the young, of securing co-ordination between education in the home and in the school, of introducing physical culture and manual work with a view to raising the standards of health-all this exerted a lasting influence upon his co.ntemporaries. 2 His great reputa­ tion as the founder of therapeutic gymnastics in Germany is still shown by the wide circulation of his Arztliche ,Zimmergymnastik in medical circles and the numerous editions through which it has passed. 8 Such a father as this was by no means unsuitable for trans­ figuration into a God in the affectionate memory of the son from whom he had been so early separated by death. It is true that we cannot help feeling that there is an impassable gulf between the personality of God and that of any human being, 1 [In all the German editions this name is given incorrectly as 'Gottlieb'.] 1 I have to thank my colleague Dr. Stegmann of Dresden for his kindness in letting me see a copy of a journal entitled Der Freund tier Schreber- Vereine [ The Friend of the Schreber Associations]. This number (Vol. II. No. 10) celebrates the centenary of Dr. Schreber's birth, and some biographical data are contained in it. Dr. Schreber senior was born in 1808 and died in 1861, at the age of only fifty-three. From the source which I have already mentioned I know that our patient was at that time nineteen years old. [Some biographical information about Schreper's father will also be found in Baumeyer (1956, 74).] 8 [Nearly forty in all. An English translation of the book appeared under the title Medical Indoor Gymnastics in 1856 and again in 1899 and 1912.]



however eminent he may be. But we must remember that this has not always been so. The gods of the peoples of antiquity stood in a closer human relationship to them. The Romans used to deify their dead emperors as a matter of routine; and the Emperor Vespasian, a sensible and competent man, exclaimed when he was first taken ill: 'Alas! Methinks I am b ecoming a God!' 1 We are perfectly familiar with the infantile attitude of boys towards their father; it is composed of the same mixture of reverent submission and mutinous insubordination that we have found in Schreber's relation to his God, and is the un­ mistakable prototype of that relation, which is faithfully copied from it. But the circumstance that Schreber's father was a physician, and a most eminent physician, and one who was no doubt highly respected by his patients, is what explains the most striking characteristics of his God and those upon which he dwells in such a critical fashion. Could more bitter scorn be shown for such a physician than by declaring that he under­ stands nothing about living men and only knows how to deal with corpses? No doubt it is an essential attribute of God to perform miracles; but a physician performs miracles too; he effects miraculous cures, as his enthusiastic clients proclaim. So that when we see that these very miracles (the material for which was provided by the patient's hypochond,ria) tum out to be incredible, absurd, and to some extent positively silly, we are reminded of the assertion in my Interpretation of Dreams that absurdity in dreams expresses ridicule and derision. 1 Evidently, therefore, it is used for the same purposes in paranoia. As regards some of the other reproaches which he levelled against God, such, for instance, as that He learned nothing by experience, it is natural to suppose that they are examples of the tu quoque mechanism used by children, 3 which, when they receive a reproof, flings it back unchanged upon the person who originated it. Similarly, the voices give us grounds 1 Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars, Book VIII, Chapter 23. This practice of deification began with Julius Caesar. Augustus styled himself 'Divi

filius' ['the son of the God'] in his inscriptions. 3 Standard Ed., 5, 444-5. 3 It looks remarkably like a revaru:he of this sort when we find the patient writing out the following memorandum one day: 'Any attempt at exercising an educative irifluence must be abandoned as hopeless.' (188.) The uneducable one was God.




for suspecting that the accusation of soul-murder brought against Flechsig was in the first instance a self-accusation. 1 Emboldened by the discovery that his father's profession helps to explain the peculiarities of Schreber's God, we shall now venture upon an interpretation which may throw some light upon the remarkable structure of that Being. The heavenly world consisted, as we know, of the 'anterior realms of God', which were also called the 'fore-courts of Heaven' and which contained the souls of the dead, and of the 'lower' and the 'upper' God, who together constituted the 'posterior realms of God' (19) [pp. 23-4]. Although we must be prepared to find that there is a condensation here which we shall not be able to resolve, it is nevertheless worth while referring to a clue that is already i;n our hands. If the 'miracled' birds, which have been shown to be girls, were originally fore-courts of Heaven [p. 35], may it not be that the anterior realms of God and the fore-courts 2 of Heaven are to be regarded as a symbol of what is female, and the posterior realms of God as a symbol of what is male? If we knew for certain that Schreber's dead brother was older than himself, we might suppose that the decom­ position of God into the lower and the upper God gave expres­ sion to the patient's recollection that after his father's early death his elder brother had stepped into his place. 3 In this connection, finally, I should like to draw attention to the subject of the sun, which, through its 'rays', came to have so much importance in the expression of his delusions. Schreber has a quite peculiar relation to the sun. It speaks to him in human language, and thus reveals itself to him as a living being, or as the organ of a yet higher being lying behind it (9). We learn from a medical report that at one time he 'used to shout threats and abuse at it and positively bellow at it' (382)' and used to call out to it that it must crawl away from him 1 'Whereas for some time past the facts have been deliberately inverted and an attempt has been made to "represent" myself as being the one who practises soul-murder •• .' etc. (23). [See above p. 45, n.] 1 [The German word 'Vorhof' besides having the literal meaning of 'fore-court', is used in anatomy as a synonym for the 'vestibulum', a region of the female genitals. The word appears in Freud's analysis of 'Dora' (1905e), Standard Ed., 7, 99.] 8 [Cf. footnote 3, p. 50.] ''The sun is a whore', he used to exclaim (384).



and hide. He himself tells us that the sun turns pale before him. 1 The manner in which it is bound up with his fate is shown by the important alterations it undergoes as soon as changes begin to occur in him, as, for instance, during his first weeks at Sonnen­ stein (135). Schreber makes it easy for us to interpret this solar myth of his. He identifies the sun directly with God, sometimes with the lower God (Ahriman), 2 and sometimes with the upper. 'On the following day ... I saw the upper God (Ormuzd), and this time not with my spiritual eyes but with my bodily ones. It was the sun, but not the sun in its ordinary aspect, as it is known to all men; it was ...' etc. (137-8.) It is therefore no more than consistent of him to treat it in the same way as he treats God Himself. The sun, therefore, is nothing but another sublimated symbol for the father; and in pointing this out I must disclaim all responsibility for the monotony of the solutions provided by psycho-analysis. In this instance symbolism overrides gram­ matical gender-at least so far as German goes, 8 for in most other languages the sun is masculine. Its counterpart in this picture of the two parents is 'Mother Earth' as she is generally called. We frequently come upon confirmations of this assertion in resolving the pathogenic phantasies of neurotics by psycho­ analysis. I can make no more than the barest allusion to the relation of all this to cosmic myths. One of my patients, who had lost his father at a very early age, was always seeking to rediscover him in what was grand and sublime in Nature. Since I have known this, it has seemed to me probable that Nietzsche's hymn 'Vor Sonnenaufgang' ['Before Sunrise'] is an expression of the same longing.' Another patient, who became neurotic after his father's death, was seized with his first attack 1 'To some extent, moreover, even to this day the sun presents a different picture to my eyes from what it did before my illness. When I stand facing it and speak aloud, its rays turn pale before me. I can gaze at it without any difficulty and without being more than slightly dazzled by it; whereas in my healthy days it would have been as impossible for me as for anyone else to gaze at it for a minute at a time.' (139, footnote.) [The point is referred to again in Freud's Postscript to the paper, below, p. 80 ff.] 1 'Since July, 1894, the voices that talk to me have identified him [Ahriman] directly with the sun.' (88.) 8 [The German word for 'sun' is feminine: 'die Sonne'.] ' Also Sprach Zarathustra, Part III. It was only as a child that Nietzsche too knew his father.



of anxiety and giddiness while the sun shone upon him as he was working in the garden with a spade. He spontaneously put forward as an interpretation that he had become frightened because his father had looked at him while he was at work upon his mother with a sharp instrument. When I ventured upon a mild remonstrance, he gave an air of greater plausibility to his view by telling me that even in his father's lifetime he had compared him with the sun, though then it had been in a satirical sense. Whenever he had been asked where his father was going to spend the summer he had replied in these sonorous words from the 'Prologue in Heaven': Und seine vorgeschrieb'ne Reise Vollendet er mit Donnergang. 1 His father, acting on medical advice, had @een in the habit of paying an annual visit to Marienbad. This patient's infantile attitude towards his father took effect in two successive phases. & long as his father was alive it showed itself in unmitigated rebelliousness and open discord, but immediately after his death it took the form of a neurosis based upon abject sub­ mission and deferred obedience to him. 2 Thus in the case of Schreber we find ourselves once again on the familiar ground of the father-complex. 3 The patient's struggle with Flechsig became revealed to him as a conflict with God, and we must therefore construe it as an infantile conflict with the father whom he loved; the details of that conflict (of which we know nothing) are what determined the content of his delusions. None of the material which in other cases of the sort is brought to light by analysis is absent in the present one: every element is hinted at in one way or another. In infantile experiences such as this the father appears as an interferer with the satisfaction which the child is trying to obtain; this is usually of an auto-erotic character, though at a later date it is often replaced in phantasy by some other satisfac­ tion of a less inglorious kind. 4 In the final stage of Schreber's 1 ['And with a tread of thunder he accomplishes his prescribed journey.' Goethe, Faust, Part I.] 1 [Cf. some comments on 'deferred obedience' in the analysis of'Little Hans' (1909b), Standard Ed., 10, 35.] 9 In the same way, Schreber's 'feminine wishful phantasy' is simply one of the typical forms taken by the infantile nuclear complex. ' See some remarks on this subject in my analysis of the 'Rat Man' (1909d), Standard Ed., 10, 206-8 n.



delusion a magnificent victory was scored by the infantile sexual urge; for voluptuousness became God-fearing, and God Himself (his father) never tired of demanding it from him. His father's most dreaded threat, castration, actually provided the material for his wishful phantasy (at first resisted but later accepted) of being transformed into a woman. His allusion to an offence covered by the surrogate idea 'soul-murder' could not be more transparent. The chief attendant was discovered to be identical with his neighbour von W. [p. 39 f.], who, according to the voices, had falsely accused him of masturba­ tion (108). The voices said, as though giving grounds for the threat of castration: 'For you are to be represented as being given over to voluptuous excesses.' 1 (127-8.) Finally, we come to the enforced thinking (47) to which the patient sub­ mitted himself because he supposed that God would believe he had become an idiot and would withdraw from him if he ceased thinking for a moment. [See p. 25.] This is a reaction (with which we are also familiar in other connections) to the threat or fear of losing one's reason 2 as a result of indulging in sexual practices and especially in masturbation. Considering the enormous number of delusional ideas of a hyp ochondriacal nature 3 which the patient developed, no great importance should perhaps be attached to the fact that some of them 1 The systems of 'representing' [128 n.] and of 'noting down' (126), taken in conjunction with the 'proved souls', point back to experiences in the patient's school days.-[The process of purification of souls after death (p. 23) was known in the 'basic language' as 'Prilfung'. This is the ordinary German word for a 'school examination', but is also used for 'testing' or 'proving' in general. Souls that had not yet been purified were called, not, as might have been expected, 'unproved', but, in accordance with the tendency of the 'basic language' to make use of euphemisms (p. 23), 'proved'. 'Representing' was similarly a term meaning 'misrepresenting'. Another iJlStance of its use will be found on p. 53, n. 1. By the system of 'noting down', all Schreber's thoughts, actions, and everything connected with him, were recorded year after year in note-books by half-witted beings, probably situated in remote heavenly bodies.] 1 'This was the end in view, as was frankly admitted at an earlier date in the phrase "We want to destroy your reason", which I have heard proceeding from the upper God upon countless occasions.' (206 n.) 8 I must not omit to remark at this point that I shall not consider any theory of paranoia trustworthy unless it also covers the hypochon­ driacal symptoms by which that disorder is almost invariably accom-



coincide word for word with the hypochondriacal fears of masturbators.1 Any one who was more daring than I am in making inter­ pretations, or who was in touch with Schreber's family and consequently better acquainted with the society in which he moved and the small events of his life, would find it an easy matter to trace back innumerable details of his delusions to their sources and so discover their meaning, and this in spite of the censorship to which the Denlcwurdigkeiten have been sub­ jected. But as it is, we must necessarily content ourselves with this shadowy sketch of the infantile material which was used by the paranoic disorder in portraying the current conflict. Perhaps I may be allowed to add a few words with a view to establishing the causes of this conflict that broke out in relation to the feminine wishful phantasy. As we know, when a wishful phantasy makes its appearance, our business is to bring it into connection with some frustration, 2 some privation in real life. Now Schreber admits having suffered a privation of this kind. His marriage, which he describes as being in other respects a happy one, brought him no children; and in parti­ cular it brought him no son who might have consoled him or the loss of his father and brother and upon whom he might have drained off his unsatisfied homosexual affections. 8 His

panied. It seems to me that hypochondria stands in the same relation to paranoia as anxiety neurosis does to hysteria. [The position of hypochondria was discussed by Freud at some length at the beginning of Section II of his paper on narcissism (1914c), Standard Ed., 14, 83 ff.] 1 'For this reason attempts were made to pump out my spinal cord. This was done by means of so-called "little men" who were placed in my feet. I shall have more to say presently on the subject of these "little men", who showed some resemblance to the phenomena of the same name which I have already discussed in Chapter VI. There used as a rule to be two of them-a "little Flechsig" and a "little von W."­ and I used to hear their voices, too, in my feet.' (154.) [The word 'gleichnamigen' (of the same name') has· been accidentally omitted from the quotation in all the German editions.] Von W. was the man who was supposed to have accused Schreber of masturbation. The 'little men' are described by Schreber himself as being among the most remarkable and, in some respects, the most puzzling phenomena of his illness (157). It looks as though they were the product of a condensation of children and -spermatozoa. 3 [See footnote 2 below, p. 62.] • 8 'After my recovery from my first illness I spent eight years with my wife-years, upon the whole, of great happiness, rich in outward S.F.XII-E



family line threatened to die out, and it seems that he felt no little pride in his birth and lineage. 'Both the Flechsigs and the Schrebers were members of "the highest nobility of Heaven", as the phrase went. The Schrebers in particular bore the title of "Margraves of Tuscany and Tasmania"; for souls, urged by some sort of personal vanity, have a custom of adorning them­ selves with somewhat high-sounding titles borrowed from this world.' 1 (24.) The great Napoleon obtained a divorce from Josephine (though only after severe internal struggles) because she could not propagate the dynasty. 2 Dr. Schreber may have formed a phantasy that if he were a woman he would manage the business of having children more successfully; and he may thus have found his way back into the feminine attitude towards his father which he had exhibited in the earliest years of his childhood. If that were so, then his delusion that as a result of his emasculation the world was to be peopled with 'a new race of men, born from the spirit of Schreber' (288)-a delusion the realization of which he was continually postponing to a more and more remote future-would also be designed to offer him an escape from his childlessness. If the 'little men' whom Schreber himself finds so puzzling were children, then we should have no difficulty in understanding why they were collected in such great numbers on his head (158): they were in truth the 'children of his spirit'. 3 honours, and only clouded from time to time by the oft-repeated dis­ appointment of our hope that we might be blessed with children.' (36). 1 He goes on from this remark, which preserves in his delusions the good-natured irony of his saner days, to trace back through former centuries the relations between the Flechsig and Schreber families. In just the same way a young man who is newly engaged, and cannot understand how he can have lived so many yean without knowing the girl he is now in love with, will insist that he really made her acquaint­ ance at some earlier time. 2 In this connection it is worth mentioning a protest entered by the patient against some statements made in the medical report: 'I have never trifled with the idea of obtaining a divorce, nor have I displayed any indifference to the maintenance of our marriage tie, such as might be inferred from the expression used in the report to the effect that "I am always ready with the rejoinder that my wife can get a divorce if she likes".' (436.) 3 Cf. what I have said about the method of representing patrilineal descent and about the birth of Athena in my analysis of the 'Rat Man' (1909d), Standard Ed., 10, 233 n.


ON THE MECHANISM OF PARANOIA WE have hitherto been dealing with the father-complex, which was the dominant element in Schreber's case and with the wishful phantasy round which the illness centred. But in all of this there is nothing characteristic of the form of disease known as paranoia, nothing that might not be found (and that has not in fact been found) in other kinds of neuroses. The distinctive character of paranoia (or of dementia paranoides) must .be sought for elsewhere-namely, in the particular form assumed by the symptoms; and we shall expect to find that this is deter­ mined, not by the nature of the complexes themselves, but by the mechanism by which the symptoms are formed or by which repression is brought about. We should be inclined to say that what was characteristically paranoic about the illness was the fact that the patient, as a means of warding off a homosexual wishful phantasy, reacted precisely with delusions of persecution of this kind. These considerations therefore lend an added weight to the circumstance that we are in point of fact driven by experience to attribute to homosexual wishful phantasies an intimate (perhaps an invariable) relation to this particular form of disease. Distrusting my own experience on the subject, I have during the last few years joined with my friends C. G. Jung of Zurich and Sandor Ferenczi of Budapest in investigating upon this single point a number of cases of paranoid disorder which have come under observation. The patients whose histories provided the material for this enquiry included both men and women, and varied in race, occupation, and social standing. Yet we were astonished to find that in all of these cases a defence against a homosexual wish was clearly recognizable at the very centre of the conflict which underlay the disease, and that it was in an attempt to master an unconsciously rein­ forced current of homosexuality that they had all of them come to grief. 1 This was certainly not what we had expected. 1 Further confirmation is afforded by Maeder's analysis of a paranoid patient]. B. (1910). The present paper, I regret to say, was completed before I had an opportunity of reading Maeder's work. 59



Paranoia is precisely a disorder in which a sexual aetiology is by no means obvious; far from this, the strikingly prominent features in the causation of paranoia, especially among males, are social humiliations and slights. But if we go into the matter only a little more deeply, we shall be able to see that the really operative factor in these social injuries lies in the part played in them by the homosexual components of emotional life. So long as the individual is functioning normally and it is con­ sequently impossible to see into the depths of his mental life, we may doubt whether his emotional relations to his neigh­ bours in society have anything to do with sexuality, either actually or in their genesis. But delusions never fail to uncover these relations and to trace back the social feelings to their roots in a directly sensual erotic wish. So long as he was healthy, Dr. Schreber, too, whose delusions culminated in a wishful phantasy of an unmistakably homosexual nature, had, by all accounts, shown no signs of homosexuality in the ordinary sense of the word. I shall now endeavour (and I think the attempt is neither unnecessary nor unjustifiable) to show that the knowledge of psychological processes, which, thanks to psycho-analysis, we now possess, already enables us to understand the part played by a homosexual wish in the development of paranoia. Recent investigations 1 have directed our attention to a stage in the development of the libido which it passes through on the way from auto-erotism to object-love. 2 This stage has been given the name of narcissism. 3 What happens is this. There comes a time in the development of the individual at which he unifies his sexual instincts (which have hitherto been engaged in auto­ erotic activities) in order to obtain a love-object; and he begins· by taking himself, his own body, as his love-object, and only subsequently proceeds from this to the choice of some person 1

Sadger (1910) and Freud (1910c). 'Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905d) [Standard Ed., 7, 217-18. The passage was added in the second edition, 1910]. 8 [In the original this sentence reads: 'This stage has been described­ as "Narzissismus"; I prefer to give it the name of "Narzissmus", which may not be so correct, but is shorter and less cacophonous.' -The passage in the second edition of the Three Essays referred to in the last footnote was probably Freud's first mention of the subject in print. �ee the Editor's Note to his paper on narcissism (1914c), Standard Ed., 14, 69.]



other than himself as his object. This half-way phase between auto-erotism and object-love may perhaps be indispensable normally; but it appears that many people linger unusually long in this condition, and that many of its features are carried over by them into the later stages of their development. What is ofchiefimportance in the subject's self thus chosen as a love­ object may already .be the genitals. The line of developpient then leads on to the choice of an external object with similar genitals-that is, to homosexual object-choice-and thence to heterosexuality. People who are manifest homosexuals in later life have, it may be presumed, never emancipated them­ selves from the binding condition that the object of their choice must possess genitals like their own; and in this connection the infantile sexual theories which attribute the same kind of genitals to both sexes exert much influence. [Cf. Freud, 1908c.] After the stage of.heterosexual object-choice has been reached, the homosexual tendencies are not, as might be supposed, done away with or brought to a stop; they are merely deflected from their sexual aim and applied to fresh uses. They now combine with portions of the ego-instincts and, as 'attached' 1 compon­ ents, help to constitute the social instincts, thus contributing an erotic factor to friendship and comradeship, to esprit de corps and to the love of mankind in general. How large a con­ tribution is in fact derived from erotic sources (with the sexual aim inhibited) could scarcely be guessed from the normal social relations of mankind. But it is not irrelevant to note that it is precisely manifest homosexuals, and among them again pre­ cisely those that set themselves against an indulgence in sensual acts, who are distinguished by taking a particularly active share in the general interests of humanity-interests which have themselves sprung from a sublimation of erotic instincts. In my Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality [Standard Ed., 7, 235] I have expressed the opinion that each stage in the development ofpsychosexuality affords a possibility of'fixation' 1 ['Angelehnte'. (in quotation marks in the original). In his paper on narcissism (1914c), written some three years after the present paper, Freud explained his view that 'the sexual instincts are at the outset attached to ("lehnen sich an") the satisfaction of the ego-instincts'. From this he derived his 'Anlehnungstypus' ('attachment' or 'anaclitic type') of object-choice. See Standard Ed., 14, 87, footnote 2, for a discussion of the 'anaclitic type'.�Cf. also ibid., 126.]



and thus of a dispositional point. 1 People who have not freed themselves completely from the stage of narcissism-who, that is to say, have at that point a fixation which may operate as a disposition to a later illness-are exposed to the danger that some unusually intense wave of libido, finding no other outlet, may lead to a sexualization of their social instincts and so undo the sublimations which they had achieved in the course of their development. This result may be produced by anything that causes the libido to flow backwards (i.e. that causes a 'regres­ sion'): whether, on the one hand, the libido becomes collaterally reinforced owing to some disappointment over a woman, or is directly dammed up owing to a mishap in social relations with other men-both of these being instances of 'frustration'; or whether, on the other hand, there is a general intensification of the libido, so that it becomes too powerful to find an outlet along the channels which are already open to it, and con­ sequently bursts through its banks at the weakest spot. 2 Since our analyses show that paranoics endeavour to protect themselves against any such sexualiz:,ation of their social instinctual cathexes, we are driven to suppose that the weak spot in their development is to be looked for somewhere between the stages of auto-erotism, narcissism and homosexuality, and that their disposition to illness (which may perhaps be susceptible of more precise definition) must be located in that region. A similar disposition would have to be assigned to patients suffering from Kraepelin's dementia praecox or (as Bleuler has named it) schizophrenia; and we shall hope later on to find clues which will enable us to trace back the differences between the two disorders (as regards both the form they take and the course they run) to correspond­ ing differences in the patients' dispositional fixations. In taking the view, then, that what lies at the core of the conflict in cases of paranoia among males is a homosexual wishful phantasy of loving a man, we shall certainly not forget that the confirmation of such an important hypothesis can only 1 [This is further explained below at the beginning of the paper on 'The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis' (1913i), p. 317. The whole subject raised in this paragraph is dealt with more fully in that work.] 1 [This question is discussed much more fully in Freud's slightly later paper on 'Types of Onset of Neurosis' (1912c), p. 231 below. Freud's use of the term 'frustration', which has appeared already on p. 57, is considered in the Editor's Note to that paper.]



follow upon the investigation of a large number of instances of every variety of paranoic disorder. We must therefore be pre­ pared, if need be, to limit our assertion to a single type of paranoia. Nevertheless, it is a remarkable fact that the familiar principal forms of paranoia can all be represented as contradic­ tions of the single proposition: '/ (a man) love him (a man)', and indeed that they exhaust all the possible ways in which such contradictions could be formulated. The proposition 'I (a man) love him' is contradicted by: (a) Delusions of persecution; for they loudly assert: 'I do not love him-I hate him.' This contradiction, which must have run thus in the un­ conscious,1 cannot, however, become conscious to a paranoic in this form. The mechanism of symptom-formation in paranoia requires that internal perceptions-feelings-shall be replaced by external perceptions. Consequently the proposition 'I hate him' becomes transformed by projection into another one: 'He hates (persecutes) me, which will justify me in hating him.' And thus the impelling unconscious feeling makes its appearance as though it were the consequence of an external perception: 'I do not love him-I hate him, because HE PERSECUTES ME.' Observation leaves room for no doubt that the persecutor is some one who was once loved. (b) Another element is chosen for contradiction in erotomania, which remains totally unintelligible on any other view: 'I do not love him-I love her.' And in obedience to the same need for projection, the pro­ position is transformed into: 'I observe that she loves me.' 'I do not love him-I love her, because SHE LOVES ME.' Many cases of erotomania might give an impression that they could be satisfactorily explained as being exaggerated or distorted heterosexual fixations, if our attention were not attracted by the circumstance that these infatuations invariably begin, not with any internal perception of loving, but with an external perception of being loved. But in this form of para.,. noia the intermediate proposition 'I love her' can also become conscious, because the contradiction between it and the original proposition is not a diametrical one, not so irreconcilable as that between love and hate: it is, after all, possible to love her as well as him. It can thus come about that the proposition which 1

Or in the 'basic language' [p. 231, as Schreber would say.



has been substituted by projection ('she loves me') may make way again for the 'basic language' proposition 'I love her'. (c) The third way in which the original proposition can be contradicted would be by delusions of jealousy, which we can study in the characteristic forms in which they appear in each sex. (cx) Alcoholic delusions of jealousy. The part played by alcohol in this disorder is intelligible in every way. We know that that source of pleasure removes inhibitions and undoes sublimations. It is not infrequently disappointment over a woman that drives a man to drink-but this means, as a rule, that he resorts to the public-house and to the company of men, who afford him the emotional satisfaction which he has failed to get from his wife at home. If now these men become the objects of a strong libidinal cathexis in his unconscious, he will ward it off with the third kind of contradiction: 'It is not/ who love the man-she loves him', and he suspects the woman in relation to all the men whom he himself is tempted to love. Distortion by means of projection is necessarily absent in this instance, since, with the change of the subject who loves, the whole process is in any case thrown outside the self. The fact that the woman loves the men is a matter of external perception to him; whereas the facts that he himself does not love but hates, or that he himself loves not this but that person, are matters of internal perception. (/J) Delusions of jealousy in women are exactly analogous. 'It is not I who love the women-he loves them.' The jealous woman suspects her husband in relation to all the women by whom she is herself attracted owing to her homo­ sexuality and the dispositional effect of her excessive narcissism. The influence of the time of life at which her fixation occurred is clearly shown by the selection of the love-objects which she imputes to her husband; they are often old and quite in• appropriate for a real love relation-revivals of the nurses and servants and girls who were her friends in childhood, or sisters who were her actual rivals. Now it might be supposed that a proposition consisting of three terms, such as '/ love him', could only be contradicted in three different ways. Delusions of jealousy contradict the sub. ject, delusions of persecution contradict the verb, and eroto-



mania contradicts the object. But in fact a fourth kind of contradiction is possible-namely, one which rejects the pro­ position as a whole: 'I do not love at all-I do not love a7V1 one.' And since, after all, one's libido must go somewhere, this proposition seems to be the psychological equivalent of the proposition: 'I love only myself.' So that this kind of contradiction would give us megalo­ mania, which we may regard as a sexual overvaluation of the ego and may thus set beside the overvaluation of the love-object with which we are already familiar.1 It is of some importance in connection with other parts of the theory of paranoia to notice that we can detect an element of megalomania in most other forms of paranoic disorder. We are justified in assuming that megalomania is essentially of an infantile nature and that, as development proceeds, it is sacrificed to social considerations. Similarly, an individual's megalomania is never so vehemently suppressed as when he is in the grip of an overpowering love: Denn wo die Lieb' erwachet, stirbt das Ich, der finstere Despot. 2

After this discussion of the unexpectedly important part played by homosexual wishful phantasies in paranoia, let us return to the two factors in which we expected from the first to find the distinguishing marks of paranoia, namely, the mechanism by which the symptoms are formed and the mechanism · by which repression is brought about [p. 59]. We certainly have no right to begin by assuming that these two mechanisms are identical, and that symptom-formation follows the same path as repression, each proceeding along it, perhaps, in an opposite direction. Nor does there seem to be 1 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905d), Standard Ed., 7, 150-1. The same view and the same formulation will be found in the papers by Abraham and Maeder to which I have already referred [pp. 41 n. and 59 n.]. 1 From the Ghazals of Muliammad ibn Muliammad (Jalal al-Din} Rimi, translated by Riickert. [For when the flames oflove atise, Then Self, the gloomy tyrant, dies. In Ri.ickert's version the word 'dunkele' ('dark') appears in place of :finstere'.]



any great probability that such an identity exists. Nevertheless, we shall refrain from expressing any opinion on the subject until we have completed our investigation. The most striking characteristic of symptom-formation in paranoia is the process which deserves the name of projection. An internal perception is suppressed, and, instead, its content, after undergoing a certain kind of distortion, enters conscious­ ness in the form of an external perception. In delusions of per­ secution the distortion consists in a transformation of affect; what should have been felt internally as love is perceived externally as hate. We should feel tempted to regard this remarkable process as the most important element in paranoia and as being absolutely pathognomonic for it, if we were not opportunely reminded of two things. In the first place, pro­ jection does not play the same part in all forms of paranoia; and, in the second place, it makes its appearance not only in paranoia but under other psychological conditions as well, and in fact it has a regular share assigned to it in our attitude towards the external world. For when we refer the causes of certain sensations to the external world, instead of looking for them (as we do in the case of others) inside ourselves, this normal proceeding, too, deserves to be called projection. Hav­ ing thus been made aware that more general psychological problems are involved in the question of the nature of projec­ tion, let us make up our minds to postpone the investigation of it (and with it that of the mechanism of paranoic symptom­ formation in general) until some other occasion; 1 and let us now tum to consider what ideas we can collect on the subject of the mechanism of repression in paranoia. I should like to say at once, in justification of this temporary renunciation, that we shall find that the manner in which the process of repression occurs is far more intimately connectedwith the developmental history of the libido and with the disposition to which it gives rise than is the manner in which symptoms are formed. In psycho-analysis we have been accustomed to look upon pathological phenomena as being derived in a general way from repression. Ifwe examinewhat is spoken of as 'repression' 1 [There seems no trace of any such later discussion. Freud may perhaps have dealt with the subject in one of the missing metapsycho­ logical papers. See the Editor's Introduction to the 'Papers on Meta­ psychology', Standard Ed., 14, 106.]



more closely, we shall find reason to split the process up into three phases which are easily distinguishable from one another conceptually. 1 (1) The first phase consists in.fixation, which is the precursor and necessary condition of every 'repression'. Fixation can be described in this way. One instinct or instinctual component fails to accompany the rest along the anticipated normal path of development, and, in consequence of this inhibition in its development, it is left behind at a more infantile stage. The libidinal current in question then behaves in relation to later psychological structures like one belonging to the system of the unconscious, like one that is repressed. We have already shown [pp. 61-2] that these instinctual fixations constitute the basis for the disposition to subsequent illness, and we may now add that they constitute above all the basis for the determina­ tion of the outcome of the third phase of repression. (2) The second phase of repression is that of repression proper-the phase to which most attention has hitherto been given. It emanates from the more highly developed systems of the ego-systems which are capable of being conscious-and may in fact be described as a process of 'after-pressure'. It gives an impression of being an essentially active process, while fixation appears in fact to be a passive lagging behind. What undergo repression may either be the psychical derivatives of the original lagging instincts, when these have become re­ inforced and so come into conflict with the ego (or ego-syntonic instincts), or they may be psychical trends which have for other reasons aroused strong aversion. But this aversion would not in itself lead to repression, unless some connection had been established between the unwelcome trends which have to be repressed and those which have been repressed already. Where this is so, the repulsion exercised by the conscious system and the attraction exercised by the unconscious one tend in the same direction towards bringing about repression. The two possibilities which are here treated separately may in practice, perhaps, be less sharply differentiated, and the distinction between them may merely depend upon the greater or lesser 1 [What follows is repeated somewhat differently in the metapsycho­ logical paper on 'Repression' (1915d), Standard Ed., 14, 148. It had already been outlined by Freud in a letter to Ferenczi of December 6, 1910 (Jones, 1955, 499).]



degree in which the primarily repressed instincts contribute to the result. (3) The third phase, and the most important as regards pathological phenomena, is that of failure of repression, of irruption, of return of the repressed. This irruption takes its start from the point of fixation, and it implies a regression of the libidinal development to that point. We have already [p. 61 f.] alluded to the multiplicity of the, possible points of fixation; there are, in fact, as many as there are stages in the development of the libido. We must be pre­ pared to find a similar multiplicity of the mechanisms of repression proper and of the mechanisms of irruption (or of symptom-formation), and we may already begin to suspect that it will not be possible to trace back all of these multiplicities to the developmental history of the libido alone. It is easy to see that this discussion is beginning to trench upon the problem of 'choice of neurosis', which, however, cannot be taken in hand until preliminary work of another kind has been accomplished. 1 Let us bear in mind for the present that we have already dealt with fixation, and that we have postponed the subject of symptom-formation; and let us restrict ourselves to the question of whether the analysis of Schreber's case throws any light upon the mechanism of repression proper which predominates in paranoia. At the climax of his illness, under the influence of visions which were 'partly of a terrifying character, but partly, too, of an indescribable grandeur' (73), Schreber became convinced of the imminence of a great catastrophe, of the end of the world. Voices told him that the work of the past 14,000 years had now come to nothing, and that the earth's allotted span was only 212 years more (71); and during the last part of his stay in Flechsig's clinic he believed that that period had already elapsed. He himself was 'the only real man left alive', and the few human shapes that he still saw-the doctor, the attendants, the other patients-he explained as being 'miracled up, cur­ sorily improvised men'. Occasionally the converse current of feeling also made itself apparent: a newspaper was put into his hands in which there was a report of his own death (81); he himself existed in a second, inferior shape, and in this second shape he one day quietly passed away (73). But the form of his 1

[The problem is further considered on pp. 71 £ and 77 £ below.]



delusion in which his ego was retained and the world sacrificed proved itself by far the more powerful. He had various theories of the cause of the catastrophe. At one time he had in mind a process of glaciation owing to the withdrawal of the sun; at another it was to be destruction by an earthquake, in the occurrence of which he, in his capacity of 'seer of spirits', was to act a leading part, just as another seer was alleged to have done in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 (91 ). Or again, Flechsig was the culprit, since through his magic arts he had sown fear and terror among men, had wrecked the foundations of re­ ligion, and spread abroad general nervous disorders and im­ morality, so that devastating pestilences had descended upon mankind (91). In any case the end of the world was the consequence of the conflict which had broken out between him and Flechsig, or, according to the aetiology adopted in the second phase of his delusion, of the indissoluble bond which had been formed between him and God; it was, in fact, the inevit­ able result of his illness. Years afterwards, when Dr. Schreber had returned to human society, and could find no trace in the books, the musical scores, or the other articles of daily use which fell into his hands once more, of anything to bear out his theory that there had been a gap of vast duration in the history of mankind, he admitted that his view was no longer tenable: ' ••• I can no longer avoid recognizing that, externally considered, everything is as it used to be. Whether, nevertheless, there may not have been a profound internal change is a question to which I shall recur later.' (84--5.) He could not bring himself to doubt that during his illness the world had come to an end and that, in spite of everything, the one that he now saw before him was a different one. A world-catastrophe ohhis kind is not infrequent during the agitated stage in other cases of paranoia. 1 If we base ourselves on our theory of libidinal cathexis, and if we follow the hint given by Schreber's view of other people as being 'cursorily improvised men', we shall not find it difficult to explain these 1 An 'end of the world' based upon other motives is to be found at the climax of the ecstasy of love (cf. Wagner's Tristan untl Isolde); in this case it is not the ego but the single love-object which absorbs all the cathexes directed upon the external world. [Freud recurred to this point in his paper on narcissism (1914c), Standard Ed., 14, 76.J



catastrophes. 1 The patient has withdrawn from the people in his environment and from the external world generally the libidinal cathexis which he has hitherto directed on to them. Thus everything has become indifferent and irrelevant to him, and has to be explained by means of a secondary rationalization as being 'miracled up, cursorily improvised'. The end of the world is the projection of this internal catastrophe; his subjective world has come to an end since his withdrawal of his love from it.2 After Faust has uttered the curses which free him from the world, the Chorus of Spirits sings: Weh! Weh! Du hast sie zerstort, die schone Welt, mit machtiger Faust! sie stilrzt, sie zerfallt! Ein Halbgott hat sie zerschlagen! Machtiger der Erdensohne, Prachtiger baue sie wieder, in deinem Busen baue sie auf! 8 And the paranoic builds it again, not more splendid, it is 1 Cf. Abraham (1908) and Jung (1907). Abraham's short paper con­ tains almost all the essential views put forward in the present study of the case of Schreber. 1 He has perhaps withdrawn from it not only his libidinal cathexis, but his interest in general-that is, the cathexes that proceed from his ego as well. This question is discussed below [p. 73 ff.]. 3 [Woe! Woe! Thou hast it destroyed, The beautiful world, With powerful fut! In ruins 'tis hurled, By the blow of a demigod shattered!

Mightier For the children of men, More splendid Build it again, In thine own bosom build it anew! GoETHE, Faust, Part I, Scene 4. (Bayard Taylor's translation, modified.)]



true, but at least so that he can once more live in it. He builds it up by the work of his delusions. The delusionalformation, which

we take to be the pathological product, is in reality an attempt at recovery, a process of reconstruction. 1 Such a reconstruction after

the catastrophe is successful to a greater or lesser extent, but never wholly so; in Schreber's words, there has been a 'pro­ found internal change' in the world. But the human subject has recaptured a relation, and often a very intense one, to the people and things in the world, even though the relation is a hostile one now, where formerly it was hopefully affectionate. We may say, then, that the process of repression proper consists in a detachment of the libido from people-and things-that were previously loved. It happens silently; we receive no intelligence of it, but can only infer it from subsequent events. What forces itself so noisily upon our attention is the process of recovery, which undoes the work of repression and brings back the libido again on to the people it had abandoned. In paranoia this process is carried out by the method of projection. It was incorrect to say that the perception which was sup­ pressed internally is projected outwards; the truth is rather, as we now see, that what was abolished internally returns from without. The thorough examination of the process of projection which we have postponed to another occasion 2 will clear up our remaining doubts on this subject. In the meantime, however, it is a source of some satisfaction to find that our newly acquired knowledge involves us in a number of further discussions. ( 1) Our first reflection will tell us that it cannot be the case that this detachment of the libido occurs exclusively in para­ noia; nor can it be that, where it occurs elsewhere, it has such disastrous consequences. It is quite possible that a de­ tachment of the libido is the essential and regular mechanism of every repression. We can have no positive knowledge on that point until the other disorders that are based upon repression 1 [Freud returned to this idea and extended it to the symptoms of other psychoses below, on p. 77, as well as in his paper on narcissism (1914c), Standard Ed., 14, 74 and 86, in 'The Unconscious' (1915e), ibid., 203-4, and in the metapsychological paper on dreams (1917d), ibid., 230.] 1 [ See footnote, p. 66.]

NOTES ON A CASE OF PARANOIA 72 have been similarly examined. But it is certain that in normal mental life (and not only in periods of mourning) we are con­ stantly detaching our libido in this way from people or from other objects without falling ill. When Faust freed himself from the world by uttering his curses, the result was not a paranoia or any other neurosis but simply a certain general frame of mind. The detachment of the libido, therefore, cannot in itself be the pathogenic factor in paranoia; there must be some special characteristic which distinguishes a paranoic detach­ ment of the libido from other kinds. It is not difficult to suggest what that characteristic may be. What use is made of the libido after it has been set free by the process of detachment? A normal person will at once begin looking about for a sub­ stitute for the lost attachment; and until that substitute has been found the liberated libido will be kept in suspension within his mind, and will there give rise to tensions and colour his mood. In hysteria the liberated libido becomes transformed into somatic innervations or into anxiety. But in paranoia the clinical evidence goes to show that the libido, after it has been withdrawn from the object, is put to a special use. It will be remembered [p. 65] that the majority of cases of paranoia exhibit traces of megalomania, and that megalomania can by itself constitute a paranoia. From this it may be concluded that in paranoia the liberated libido becomes attached to the ego, and is used for the aggrandizement of the ego.1 A return is thus made to the stage of narcissism (known to us from the development of the libido), in which a person's only sexual object is his own ego. On the basis of this clinical evidence we can suppose that paranoics have brought along with them a fixation at the stage of narcissism, and we can assert that the length of the step back from sublimated homosexuality to narcissism is a measure of the amount of regression characteristic of paranoia. 1 (2) An equally plausible objection can be based upon Schreber's case history, as well as upon many others. For it can be urged that the delusions of persecution (which were directed against Flechsig) unquestionably made their appear­ ance at an earlier date than the phantasy of the end of the 1 [The part played by megalomania in schizophrenia is further in­ vestigated in the paper on narcissism (1914c), Standard Ed., 14, 86.] 1 (See further 'The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis' (1913i), p. 318 below.]



world; so that what is supposed to have been a return of the repressed actually preceded the repression itself-and this is patent nonsense. In order to meet this objection we must leave the high ground of generalization and descend to the detailed consideration of actual circumstances, which are undoubtedly very much more complicated. We must admit the possibility that a detachment of the libido such as we are discussing might just as easily be a partial one, a drawing back from some single complex, as a general one. A partial detachment should be by far the commoner of the two, and should precede a general one, since to begin with it is only for a partial detachment that the influences of life provide a motive. The process may then stop at the stage of a partial detachment or it may spread to a general one, which will loudly proclaim its presence in the symptoms of megalomania. Thus the detachment of the libido from the figure of Flechsig may nevertheless have been what was primary in the case of Schreber; it was immediately followed by the appearance of the delusion, which brought back the libido on to Flechsig again (though with a negative sign to mark the fact that repression had taken place) and thus annulled the work of repression. And now the battle of repres­ sion broke out anew, but this time with more powerful weapons. In proportion as the object of contention became the most important thing in the external world, trying on the one hand to draw the whole of the libido on to itself, and on the other hand mobilizing all the resistances against itself, so the struggle raging around this single object became more and more com­ parable to a general engagement; till at length a victory for the forces of repression found expression in a conviction that the world had come to an end and that the self alone survived. If we review the ingenious constructions which were raised by Schreber's delusion in the domain of religion-the hierarchy of God, the proved souls, the fore-courts of Heaven, the lower and the upper God-we can gauge in retrospect the wealth of sublimations which were brought down in ruin by the catas­ trophe of the general detachment of his libido. (3) A third consideration which arises from the views that have been developed in these pages is as follows. Are we to suppose that a general detachment of the libido from the external world would be an effective enough agent to account for the 'end of the world'? Or would not the egos.F. XII-F



cathexes1 which still remained in existence have been sufficient to maintain rapport with the external world? To meet this diffi­ culty we should either have to assume that what we call libidinal cathexis (that is, interest emanating from erotic sources) coin­ cides with interest in general, or we should have to consider the possibility that a very widespread disturbance in the distribu­ tion of libido may bring about a corresponding disturbance in the ego-cathexes. But these are problems which we are still quite helpless and incompetent to solve. It would be otherwise ifwe could start out from some well-grounded theory ofinstincts; but in fact we have nothing of the kind at our disposal. We regard instinct as being the concept on the frontier-line between the somatic and the mental, and see in it the psychical representa­ tive of organic forces. 2 Further, we accept the popular distinc­ tion between ego-instincts and a sexual instinct; for such a distinction seems to agree with the biological conception that the individual has a double orientation, aiming on the one hand at self-preservation and on the other at the preservation of the species. But beyond this are only hypotheses, which we have taken up-and are quite ready to drop again-in order to help us to find our bearings in the chaos of the obscurer processes of the mind. What we expect from psycho-analytic investigations ofpathological mental processes is precisely that they shall drive us to some conclusions on questions connected with the theory of instincts. These investigations, however, are in their infancy and are only being carried out by isolated workers, so that the 1 ['lchbesetzungen.' This German word, which occurs twice more in what follows, is unfortunately ambiguous. It may mean either 'cathexes efthe ego' or 'cathexes by the ego'. The ambiguity remains in the English 'ego-cathexes'. There can, however, be no doubt that in the present context the second of the two possible meanings, 'cathexes by the ego', is intended. The word is the equivalent of what is elsewhere called 'lchinteresse' ('ego-interest'), e.g. in the paper on narcissism, Standard Ed., 14, 82. This is directly implied, indeed, in the very next sentence, and has moreover been explicitly stated in footnote 2 on p. 70 above. OccasionaUy Freud uses the word in its other possible sense-to mean 'cathexis efthe ego'. Thus, for instance, he speaks of'die Ichbeseu_ung mit Libido' ('the cathexis of the ego with libido'), once again in the paper on narcissism (ibid., 85). This ambiguity, unless it is borne in mind, may open the door to serious confusion.] 1 [A discussion of this and other questions raised in this paragraph will be found in the Editor's Note to the metapsychological paper on 'Instincts and their Vicissitudes' (1915c), Standard Ed., 14, 111 ff.]



hopes we place in them must still remain unfulfilled. We can no more dismiss the possibility that disturbances of the libido may react upon the ego-cathexes than we can overlook the converse possibility-namely, that a secondary or induced disturbance of the libidinal processes may result from abnormal changes in the ego. Indeed, it is probable that processes of this kind constitute the distinctive characteristic of psychoses. How much of all this may apply to paranoia it is impossible at present to say. There is one consideration, however, on which I should like to lay stress. It cannot be asserted that a paranoic, even at the height of the repression, withdraws his interest from the external world completely-as must be considered to occur in certain other kinds of hallucinatory psychosis (such as Meynert's amentia). The paranoic perceives the external world and takes into account any alterations that may happen in it, and the effect it makes upon him stimulates him to invent explanatory theories (such as Schreber's 'cursorily improvised men'). It therefore appears to me far more probable that the paranoic's altered relation to the world is to be explained entirely or in the main by the loss of his libidinal interest. 1 (4) It is impossible to avoid asking, in view of the close connection between the two disorders, how far this conception of paranoia will affect our conception of dementia praecox. I am of opinion that Kraepelin was entirely justified in taking the step of separating off a large part of what had hitherto been called paranoia and merging it, together with catatonia and certain other forms of disease, into a new clinical unit-though 'dementia praecox' was a particularly unhappy name to choose for it. The designation chosen by Bleuler for the same group of forms-'schizophrenia'-is also open to the objection that the name appears appropriate only so long as we forget its literal meaning. 2 For otherwise it prejudices the issue, since it is based on a characteristic of the disease which is theoretically postu­ lated-a characteristic, moreover, which does not belong exclusively to that disease, and which, in the light of other considerations, cannot be regarded as the essential one. How­ ever, it is not on the whole of very great importance what names 1 [This paragraph was the basis of criticisms by Jung which are discussed by Freud at the end of the first section of his paper on narcis­ sism (1914c), Standard Ed., 14, 79-81.] • [I.e. 'split mind'.]



we give to clinical pictures. What seems to me more essential is that paranoia should be maintained as an independent clinical type, however frequently the picture it offers may be complicated by the presence of schizophrenic features. For, from the standpoint of the libido theory, while it would resemble dementia praecox in so far as the repression proper would in both disorders have the same principal feature-detachment of the libido, together with its regression on to the ego-it would be distinguished from dementia praecox by having its dis­ positional fixation differently located and by having a different mechanism for the return of the repressed (that is, for the formation of symptoms). It would seem to me the most con­ venient plan to give dementia praecox the name of paraphrenia. This term has no special connotation, and it would serve to indicate a relationship with paranoia (a name which cannot be changed) and would further recall hebephrenia, an entity which is now merged in dementia praecox. It is true that the name has already been proposed for other purposes; but this need not concern us, since the alternative applications have not passed into general use. 1 Abraham has very convincingly shown8 that the turning 1 [Freud's suggestion, as introduced for the first time in this passage, seemed evidently to be that the term 'paraphrenia' should replace 'dementia praecox' and 'schizophrenia', and should be distinct from the kindred 'paranoia'. He continued to use the term in this sense-for instance, in the technical paper 'On Beginning the Treatment' (1913c), p. 124 below. Not long afterwards, however, he began to use it in a wider sense, as a combined term to cover both 'dementia praecox' and 'paranoia'. This is made quite clear in the paper on narcissism (1914c), in which (Standard Ed., 14, 82) he classes dementia praecox and paranoia together as 'the paraphrenias' and (ibid., 86) distinguishes 'dementia praecox or paraphrenia proper' from 'paranoia'. That the change in meaning was made deliberately is shown by a passage in 'The Dis­ position to Obsessional Neurosis' (1913i), p. 318 below. Here, in the first edition of the paper, published at the end of 1913, Freud spoke of 'the two other psychoneuroses, which are termed by me paraphrenia and paranoia'. But when the paper was reprinted i n 1918, the last clause was altered to 'which I have brought together under the heading of "paraphrenia" '. Finally, in Lecture XXVI of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17) he wrote: 'I once ventured to suggest that paranoia and dementia praecox should be brought together under the common designation of paraphrenia.' Thereafter, however, he seems to have dropped his attempt to introduce the term.] 1 In the paper already quoted [p. 70 n. I].



away of the libido from the external world is a particularly clearly-marked feature in dementia praecox. From this feature we infer that the repression is effected by means of detachment of the libido. Here once more we may regard the phase of violent hallucinations as a struggle between repression and an attempt at recovery by bringing the libido back again on to its objects. [Cf. p. 71.] Jung, with extraordinary analytic acumen, has perceived that the deliria1 and motor stereotypes occur­ ring in this disorder are the residues of former object-cathexes, clung to with great persistence. This attempt at recovery, which observers mistake for the disease itself, does not, as in paranoia, make use of projection, but employs a hallucinatory (hysterical) mechanism. This is one of the two major respects in which dementia praecox differs from paranoia; and this difference can be explained genetically from another direction. 2 The second difference is shown by the outcome of the disease in those cases where the process has not remained too restricted. The prognosis is on the whole more unfavourable than in paranoia. The victory lies with repression and I)ot, as in the former, with reconstruction. The regression extends not merely to narcissism (manifesting itself in the shape of megalomania) but to a complete abandonment of object-love and a return to infantile auto-erotism. The dispositional fixation must therefore be situated further back than in paranoia, and must lie some­ where at the beginning of the course of development from auto­ erotism to object-love. Moreover, it is not at all likely that homosexual impulsions, which are so frequently-perhaps in­ variably-to be found in paranoia, play an equally important part in the aetiology of that far more comprehensive disorder, dementia praecox. Our ,hypotheses as to the dispositional fixations in paranoia and paraphrenia make it easy to see that a case may begin with paranoic symptoms a:q.d may yet develop into a dementia praecox, and that paranoid and schizophrenic phenomena may be combined in any proportion. And we can understand how [In French and German psychiatry the word 'delirium' is often used of delusional states. See also Freud's use of it in the 'Rat Man' case history (1909d), Standard Ed., 10, 222.] 1 [The genetic explanation of the difference appears three sentences lower down-in the earlier dispositional fixation in the case of dementia praecox.] 1



a clinical picture such as Schreber's can come about, and merit the name of a paranoid dementia, from the fact that in its production of a wishful phantasy and of hallucinations it shows paraphrenic traits, while in its exciting cause, in its use of the mechanism of projection, and in its outcome it exhibits a paranoid character. For it is possible for several fixations to be left behind in the course of development, and each of these in succession may allow an irruption of the libido that has been pushed off-beginning, perhaps, with the later acquired fixa­ tions, and going on, as the illness develops, to the original ones that lie nearer the starting-point. 1 We should be glad to know to what conditions the relatively favourable issue of the present case is due; for we cannot willingly attribute the whole responsi­ bility for the outcome to anything so casual as the 'improvement due to change in domicile', 2 which set in after the patient's removal from Flechsig's clinic. But our insufficient acquaint­ ance with the intimate circumstances of the history of the case makes it impossible to give an answer to this interesting question. It may be suspected, however, that what enabled Schreber to reconcile himself to his homosexual phantasy, and so made it possible for his illness to terminate in something approximating to a recovery, may have been the fact that his father-complex was in the main positively toned and that in real life the later years of his relationship with an excellent father had probably been unclouded. Since I neither fear the criticism of others nor shrink from criticizing myself, I have no motive for avoiding the mention of a similarity which may possibly damage our libido theory in the estimation of many ofmy readers. Schreber's 'rays of God', which are made up of a condensation of the sun's rays, of nerve­ fibres, and of spermatozoa [p. 22], are in reality nothing else than a concrete representation and projection outwards of libidinal cathexes; and they thus lend his delusions a striking conformity with our theory. His belief that the world must come to an end because his ego was attracting all the rays to 1 [A case of this pattern, which changed from a hysteria to an obses­ sional neurosis, plays a large part in the paper on 'The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis' (1913i), written by Freud not long after the present work (p. 319 ff, below).] I Cf. Riklin (1905),



itself, his anxious concern at a later period, during the process of reconstruction, lest God should sever His ray-connection with him,-these and many other details of Schreber's de­ lusional structure sound almost like endopsychic perceptions of the processes whose existence I have assumed in these pages as the basis of our explanation of paranoia. I can nevertheless call a friend and fellow-specialist to witness that I had developed my theory of paranoia before I became acquainted with the contents of Schreber's book. It remains for the future to decide whether there is more delusion in my theory than I should like to admit, or whether there is more truth in Schreber's delusion than other people are as yet prepared to believe. Lastly, I cannot conclude the present work, which is once again only a fragment of a larger whole, without foreshadow­ ing the two chief theses towards the establishment of which the libido theory of the neuroses and psychoses is advancing: namely, that the neuroses arise in the main from a conflict between the ego and the sexual instinct, and that the forms which the neuroses assume retain the imprint of the course of development followed by the libido-and by the ego.

POSTSCRIPT (1912 [1911])

IN dealing with the case history of Senatsprasident Schreber 1 I purposely restricted myself to a minimum of interpretation; and I feel confident that every reader with a knowledge of psycho-analysis will have learned from the material which I presented more than was explicitly stated by me, and that he will have found no difficulty in drawing the threads closer and in reaching conclusions at which I no more than hinted. By a happy chance the same issue of this periodical as that in which my own paper appeared showed that the attention of some other contributors had been directed to Schreber's auto­ biography, and made it easy to guess how much more material remains to be gathered from the symbolic content of the phantasies and delusions of this gifted paranoic. 2 Since I published my work upon Schreber, a chance acquisi­ tion of knowledge has put me in a position to appreciate one of his delusional beliefs more adequately, and to recognize the wealth of its bearing upon mythology. I mentioned on p. 53 the patien t's peculiar relation to the sun, and I was led to explain the sun as a sublimated 'father-symbol'. The sun used to speak to him in human language and thus revealed itself to him as a living being. Schreber was in the habit of abusing it and shouting threats at it; he declares, moreover, that when he stood facing it and spoke aloud, its rays would turn pale before him. After his 'recovery' he boasts that he can gaze at it without any difficulty and without being more than slightly dazzled by it, a thing which would naturally have been impossible for him formerly. 3 It is to this delusional privilege of being able to gaze at the sun without being dazzled that the mythological interest attaches. We read in Reinach4. that the natural historians of 1 [In the first edition only, the following footnote appeared at this point: 'See my paper in the first half-volume of the Jahrbuch (Vol. III), which is based on the Denkwiirdigkei,ten eines Nervenkranken.'] 1 Cf. Jung (1911, 164 and 207); and Spielrein (1911, 350). • See the footnote to page 139 of Schreber's book [which is quoted above on p. 54, n. 1]. 'Reinach (1905-12, 3, 80), quoting Keller (1887 [268]). 80



antiquity attributed this power to the eagle alone, who, as a dweller in the highest regions of the air, was brought into especially intimate relation with the heavens, with the sun, and with lightning. 1 We learn from the same sources, moreover, that the eagle puts his young to a test before recognizing them as his legitimate offspring. Unless they can succeed in looking into the sun without blinking they are thrown out of the eyrie. There can be no doubt about the meaning of this animal myth. It is certain that this is merely ascribing to animals some­ thing that is a hallowed custom among men. The procedure gone through by the eagle with his young is an ordeal, a test of lineage, such as is reported of the most various races of antiquity. Thus the Celts living on the banks of the Rhine used to entrust their new-born babies to the waters of the river, in order to ascertain whether they were truly of their own blood. The clan of Psylli, who inhabited what is now Tripoli, boasted that they were descended from snakes, and used to expose their infants to contact with them; those who were true-born children of the clan were either not bitten or recovered rapidly from the effects of the bite. 2 The assumption underlying these trials leads us deep into the totemic habits of thought of primitive peoples. The totem-an animal, or a natural force animistically con­ ceived, to which the tribe traces back its origin-spares the members of the tribe as being its own children, just as it itself is honoured by them as being their ancestor and is spared by them. We have here arrived at the consideration of matters which, as it seems to me, may make it possible to arrive at a psycho-analytic explanation of the origins of religion. a The eagle, then, who makes his young look into the sun and requires of them that they shall not be dazzled by its light, is behaving as though he were himself a descendant of the sun and were submitting his children to a test of their ancestry. And when Schreber boasts that he can look into the sun unscathed and undazzled, he has rediscovered the mythological method of expressing his filial relation to the sun, and has confirmed 1 Representations of eagles were set up at the highest points of temples, so a� to serve as 'magical' lightning-conductors. (Cf. Reinach, loc. cit.) 1 For lists of references see Reinach, loc. cit. and ibid., 1, 74. 8 [Freud followed up this line of thought not long afterwards in his Totem and Taboo (1912-13).]



us once again in our view that the sun is a symbol of the father. It will be remembered that during his illness Schreber gave free expression to his family pride,1 and that we discovered in the fact of his childlessness a human motive for his having fallen ill with a feminine wishful phantasy [p. 58]. Thus the connection between his delusional privilege 11 and the basis of his illness becomes evident. This short postscript to my analysis of a paranoid patient may serve to show that Jung had excellent grounds for his assertion that the mythopoeic forces of mankind are not extinct, but that to this very day they give rise in the neuroses to the same psychical products as in the remotest past ages. I should like to take up a suggestion that I myself made some time ago, 8 and add that the same holds good of the forces that construct religions. And I am of opinion that the time will soon be ripe for us to make an extension of a thesis which has long been asserted by psycho-analysts, and to complete what has hitherto had only an individual and orttogenetic application by the addition of its anthropological counterpart, which is to be conceived phylogenetically. 'In dreams and in neuroses', so our thesis has run, 'we come once more upon the child and the pecularities which characterize his modes of thought and his emotional life.' 'And we come upon the savage too,' we may now add, 'upon the primitive man, as he stands revealed to us in the light of the researches of archaeology and of ethnology.' The Schrebers are 'members of the highest nobility of Heaven' (24). [See above, p. 58.]-'Adel' is the attribute of an 'Adler'. ['Adel' means 'nobility' or 'noble'. 'Adler' means 'eagle' or 'noble (person)'.] 1 [Of being able to look into the sun.] 1 'Obsessive Acts and Religious Practices' (1907b). 1

PAPERS ON TECHNIQUE (1911-1915 [1914])

PAPERS ON TECHNIQUE EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION IN his contribution to Studies on Hysteria (1895d), Freud gave a very full account of the psychotherapeutic procedure which he had evolved on the basis of Breuer's discoveries. This may be described as the 'pressure' technique and it still included con­ siderable elements of suggestion, though it was advancing rapidly towards what he was soon to call the 'psycho-analytic' method. An examination of the list of Freud's technical writings printed below (p. 172) will show that after this, apart from two very sketchy accounts dating from 1903 and 1904, he published no general description of his technique for more than fifteen years. What little we know of his methods during this period has mainly to be inferred from incidental remarks-for instance, in The Interpretation of Dream.r (1900a)-and more particularly from what is revealed in his three major case histories of the period, 'Dora' (1905e [1901]), 'Little Hans' (1909b) and the 'Rat Man' (1909d). (The two last of these, incidentally, fall very near the end of this period of relative silence.) We learn from Dr. Ernest Jones (1955, 258 ff.) that already in 1908 Freud was toying with the idea of writing an Allgemeine Technik

der Psychoanalyse (A General Account of Psycho-Analytic Technique).

It was intended to run to some fifty pages, and thirty-six of these had already been written by the end of the year. But at this point there was a hold-up, and he decided to put off finishing it until the summer vacation of 1909. But when this arrived, there was the 'Rat Man' paper to complete and the visit to America to prepare for, and the work on technique was once again left on one side. Nevertheless, during that same summer Freud told Dr. Jones that he was planning 'a little memorandum of maxims and rules of technique', which was to be distributed privately among his closest followers only. Thereafter nothing more was heard on the subject until the paper on 'The Future Prospects of Psycho-Analysis', which he read at the end of March of the following year to the Nuremberg Congress (1910d). In that paper, which itself touched on the question of 85



technique, he announced that he intended 'in the near future' to produce an Allgemeine Methodik der P.rychoanalyse (A General Methodology of P.rycho-Analysis)-presumably a systematic work on technique (Standard Ed., 11, 142). But once again, except for the critical comment on 'wild' analysis written a few months later (1910k), there was a delay of over eighteen months, and it was not until the end of 1911 that a start was made with the publication of the following six papers. The first four of them were published in fairly rapid succes­ sion over the next fifteen months (between December, 1911, and March, 1913). There was then another pause, and the last two papers of the series appeared in November, 1914, and January, 1915. These two, however, were actually finished by the end of July, 1914-just before the outbreak of the first World War. Although the six papers were thus spread over some two and a half years, Freud seems to have regarded them as forming a series, as will be seen from the footnote to the fourth of them (p. 123) and the fact that the last four originally shared a common title; moreover he reprinted them together in his fourth collection of shorter papers in 1918 under the heading 'Zur Technik der Psychoanalyse' ('On the Technique of Psycho­ Analysis'). We have therefore thought it right in this instance to disregard chronology and include the whole series in the present volume. Though these six papers cover a great number of important subjects, they can scarcely be described as a systematic exposi­ tion of the psycho-analytic technique. They nevertheless repre­ sent Freud's nearest approach to one, for in the twenty years that followed their publication he made no more than a couple more explicit contributions to the subject: a discussion of'active' methods of treatment in his Budapest congress paper (1919a [1918]) and a few pieces of practical advice on dream-inter­ pretation (1923c). Beyond these, we have chiefly to rely as before on incidental matter in case histories, in particular in the 'Wolf Man' analysis (1918b [1914]), which was more or less contemporary with the present papers. In addition, there is, of course, the long statement of the principles underlying psycho­ analytic therapy in Lectures XXVII and XXVIII of his Introductory Lectures (1916-1 7), though this is perhaps hardly to be regarded as a direct contribution to questions of technique. It was indeed only at the very end of his life, in 1937, that he



once more returned to that topic in two important papers of an explicitly technical nature (1937c and 1937d). The relative paucity of Freud's writings on technique, as well as his hesitations and delays over their production, suggests that there was some feeling ofreluctance on his part to publish­ ing this kind of material. And this, indeed, seems to have been the case, for a variety of reasons. He certainly disliked the notion of future patients knowing too much about the details of his technique, and he was aware that they would eagerly scan whatever he wrote on the subject. (This feeling is exemplified by his proposal, mentioned above, to restrict the circulation of a work on technique to a limited number ofanalysts.) 1 But, apart from this, he was highly sceptical as to the value to beginners of what might be described as 'Aids to Young Analysts'. It is only in the third and fourth papers in this series that anything at all resembling that is to be found. This was in part because, as he tells us in the paper 'Or Beginning the Treatment', the psycho­ logical factors involved (including the personality of the analyst) are too complex and variable to make any hard and fast rules possible. Such rules could be of value only if the grounds for them were properly understood and digested; and in fact a very • large part of these papers is devoted to an exposition of the mechanism of psycho-analytic therapy and, indeed, of psycho­ therapy in general. Once this mechanism was grasped, it be­ came possible to account for the reactions of the patient (and of the analyst) and to form a judgement upon the probable effects and merits of any particular technical device. Behind all his discussions of technique, however, Freud never ceased to insist that a proper mastery of the subject could only be acquired from clinical experience and not from books. Clinical experience with patients, no doubt, but, above all, clinical experience from the analyst's own analysis. This, as Freud became more and more convinced, was the fundamental necessity for every practising psycho-analyst. He had put forward this idea rather tentatively at first, e.g. in 'The Future Prospects of Psycho-Analytic Therapy' (1910d), Standard Ed., 11, 145; it is expressed more definitely in one of the present series (p. 116f.); and in one of his very last writings, 'Analysis Terminable and 1 The absence of any full discussion in his writings of the pheno­ menon of 'counter-transference' (see below, pp. 160-1 n.) may perhaps be taken as another example of this feeling.



Interminable' (1937c), he lays it down that every analyst ought periodically, perhaps every five years, to re-enter analysis. The papers on technique which follow have clearly to be read with a constant sense of this governing condition behind them. Finally, it may be remarked that in the present series of papers Freud makes no reference to the question of whether the possession of a medical qualification is a no less necessary attribute of every psycho-analyst. In these papers it seems to be taken for granted that the analyst will be a doctor and he is far more often than not spoken of as such: the word 'Arzt'­ 'physician' or 'doctor' -is scattered plentifully over them. Freud's first published approach to the possible emergence of non-medical psycho-analysts was in fact contemporaneous with the last of these papers and will be found below (p. 330 f.) in his introduction to a book by Pfister. His main discussions of the subject came much later, in his brochure on lay analysis (1926e)1 and his postscript to it (1927a). It may be conjectured that if he had written the present papers later in his career, the word 'Arzt' would have occurred less frequently. Indeed, in his last two papers on technique (1937c and 1937d) it does not occur • at all: its place is everywhere taken by 'Anarytiker'-'analyst'. There are, incidentally, considerable borrowings from the present series of papers, sometimes almost word for word, in Chapter V of that work. 1


8.F. XII-0



Zhl. P�choan., 2 (3), 109-13. S.K.S.N., 4, 378-85. (1922, 2nd ed.) Technik und Metapsychol., 45-52. G.S., 6, 45-52. Neurosenlehre und Technik, 321-8. G.W., 8, 350-7.

(b) ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 'The Employment of Dream-Interpretation in Psycho­ Analysis' 1924 C.P., 2, 305-11. (Tr. Joan Riviere.) The present translation is a modified version, with a slightly altered title, of the one published in 1924. The paper was first published in December, 1911. Its topic, as the title implies, is a restricted one: it is concerned with dreams solely as they appear in a therapeutic analysis. Some further contributions to the same subject will be found in Sections I to VIII of 'Remarks on the Theory and Practice of Dream-Interpretation' (1923c).

THE HANDLING OF DREAM-INTERPRETATION IN PSYCHO-ANALYSIS THE Z,entralblatt fur Psychoanalyse 1 was not designed solely to keep its readers informed of the advances made in psycho­ analytic knowledge, and itself to publish comparatively short contributions to the subject; 2 it aims also at accomplishing the further tasks of presenting to the student a clear outline of what is already known, and of economizing the time and efforts of beginners in analytic practice by offering them suitable instructions. Henceforward, therefore, articles of a didactic nature and on technical subjects, not necessarily containing new matter, will appear as well in this journal. The question with which I now intend to deal is not that of the technique of dream-interpretation: neither the methods by which dreams should be interpreted nor the use of such interpretations when made will be considered, but only the way in which the analyst should employ the art of dream-interpreta­ tion in the psycho-analytic treatment of patients. There are undoubtedly different ways of going to work in the matter, but then the answer to questions of technique in analysis is never a matter of course. Although there may perhaps be more than one good road to follow, still there are very many bad ones, and a comparison of the various methods cannot fail to be illuminat­ ing, even if it should not lead to a decision in favour of any particular one. Anyone coming from dream-interpretation to analytic practice will retain his interest in the content of dreams, and his inclination will be to interpret as fully as possible every dream related by the patient. But he will soon remark that he is now working under quite different conditions, and that if he attempts to carry out his intention he will come into collision with the most immediate tasks of the treatment. Even if a patient's first dream proves to be admirably suited for the [The periodical in which this paper first appeared.] [Longer papers were published in the Jahrbuch. See Standard Ed., 14, 46-7.] 1





introduction of the first explanations to be given, other dreams will promptly appear, so long and so obscure that the full meaning cannot be extracted from them in the limited session of one day's work. If the doctor continues the wQrk of inter­ pretation during the following days, fresh dreams will be pro­ duced in the meantime and these will have to be put aside until he can regard the first dream as finally resolved. The production of dreams is at times so copious, and the patient's progress to­ wards comprehension of them so hesitant, that a suspicion will force itself on the analyst that the appearance of the material. in this manner may be simply a manifestation of the patient's resistance taking advantage of the discovery that the method is unable to master what is so presented. Moreover, the treat­ ment will meanwhile have fallen quite a distance behind the present and have lost touch with actuality. In opposition to such a technique stands the rule that it is of the greatest import­ ance for the treatment that the analyst should always be aware of the surface of the patient's mind at any given moment, that he should know what complexes and resistances are active in him at the time and what conscious reaction to them will govern his behaviour. It is scarcely ever right to sacrifice this thera­ peutic aim to an interest in dream-interpretation. What then, if we bear this rule in mind, is to be our attitude to interpreting dreams in analysis? More or less as follows: The amount of interpretation which can be achieved in one session should be taken as sufficient and it is not to be regarded as a loss if the content of the dream is not fully discovered. On the following day, the interpretation of the dream is not to be taken up again as a matter of course, until it has become evident that nothing else has meanwhile forced its way into the foreground of the patient's thoughts. Thus no exception in favour of an interrupted dream-interpretation is to be made to the rule that the first thing that comes into the patient's head is the first thing to be dealt with. If fresh dreams occur before the earlier ones have been disposed of, the more recent produc­ tions are to be attended to, and no uneasiness need be felt about neglecting the older ones. If the dreams become altogether too diffuse and voluminous, all hope of completely unravelling them should tacitly be given up from the start. One must in general guard against displaying very special interest in the interpretation of dreams, or arousing an idea in the patient that



the work would come to a standstill if he were to bring up no dreams; otherwise there is a danger of the resistance being directed to the production of dreams, with a consequent cessa­ tion of them. The patient must be brought to believe, on the contrary, that the analysis invariably finds material for its con­ tinuation, regardless of whether or no he brings up dreams or what amount of attention is devoted to them. It will now be asked whether we shall not be giving up too much valuable material which might throw light on the un­ conscious if dream-interpretation is only to be carried out subject to such restrictions of method. The answer to this is that the loss is by no means so great as might appear from a super­ ficial view of the matter. To begin with, it must be recognized that in cases of severe neurosis any elaborate dream-productions must from the nature of things be regarded as incapable of complete solution. A dream of this kind is often based on the entire pathogenic material of the case, as yet unknown to both doctor and patient (so called 'programme-dreams' and bio­ graphical dreams 1 ), and is sometimes equivalent to a transla­ tion into dream-language of the whole content of the neurosis. In the attempt to interpret such a dream all the latent, as yet untouched, resistances will be roused to activity and soon set a limit to its understanding. The full interpretation of such a dream will coincide with the completion of the whole analysis; if a note is made of it at the beginning, it may be possible to understand it at the end, many months later. It is the same as with the elucidation of a single symptom (the main symptom, perhaps). The whole analysis is needed to explain it; in the course of the treatment one must endeavour to lay hold first of this, then of that, fragment of the symptom's meaning, one after another, until they can all be pieced together. Similarly, no more can be expected of a dream occurring in the early stages of the analysis; one must be content if the attempt at interpreta­ tion brings a single pathogenic wishful impulse to light.2 Thus nothing attainable is renounced if one gives up the idea of a complete dream�interpretation; nor is anything lost as a 1 [See The Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), Standard Ed., 5, 348 and 366n.] 11 [For a long discussion of the limits to the possibility of interpreting dreams see Section A of 'Some Additional Notes upon Dream-Inter­ pretation as a Whole' (1925i).]



rule if one breaks off the interpretation of a comparatively old dream and turns to a more recent one. We have found from fine examples of fully analysed dreams that several successive scenes of one dream may have the same content, which may find expression in them with increasing clarity; and we have learnt, too, that several dreams occurring in the same night need be nothing more than attempts, expressed in various forms, to represent one meaning. 1 In general, we may rest assured that every wishful impulse which creates a dream to-day will re-appear in other dreams as long as it has not been understood and withdrawn from the domination of the un-. conscious. It often happens, therefore, that the best way to complete the interpretation of a dream is to leave it and to devote one's attention to a new dream, which may contain the same material in a possibly more accessible form. I know that it is asking a great deal, not only of the patient but also of the doctor, to expect them to give up their conscious purposive aims during the treatment, and to abandon themselves to a guidance which, in spite of everything, still seems to us 'accidental'. But I can answer for it that one is rewarded every time one resolves to have faith in one's own theoretical principles, and prevails upon oneself not to dispute the guidance of the unconscious in establishing connecting links. I submit, therefore, that dream-interpretation should not be pursued in analytic treatment as an art for its own sake, but that its handling should be subject to those technical rules that govern the conduct of the treatment as a whole. Occasionally, of course, one can act otherwise and allow a little free play to one's theoretical interest; but one should always be aware of what one is doing. Another situation to be considered is one which has arisen since we have acquired more confidence in our understanding of dream-symbolism, and know ourselves to be more independent of the patient's associations. An unusually skilful dream-interpreter will sometimes find himself in the position of being able to see through every one of a patient's dreams without requiring him to go through the tedious and time-absorbing process of working over them. Such an analyst is thus exempt from any conflict between the demands of dream-interpretation and those of the treatment. Moreover he will be tempted to make full use of dream-interpretation on 1

[See The Interpretation of Dreams, Standard Ed., 5, 525.]



every occasion, by telling the patient everything he has detected in his dreams. In doing so, however, he will have adopted a method of treatment which departs considerably from the established one, as I shall point out in another connection. 1 Beginners in psycho-analytic practice, at any rate, are advised not to take this exceptional case as a model. Every analyst is in the position of the superior dream­ interpreter, whom we have been imagining, in regard to the very first dreams that his patients bring, before they have learnt anything of the technique of translating dreams. These initial dreams may be described as unsophisticated: they betray a great deal to the listener, like the dreams of so-called healthy people. The question then arises whether the analyst is at once to translate to the patient all that he himself reads from them. This, however, is not the place for answering this question, for it evidently forms part of a wider one: at what stage in the treatment and how rapidly should the analyst introduce the patient to the knowledge of what lies veiled in his mind? 2 The more the patient has learnt of the practice of dream-interpreta­ tion, the more obscure do his later dreams as a rule become. All the knowledge acquired about dreams serves also to put the dream-constructing process on its guard. In the 'scientific' works about dreams, which in spite of their repudiation of dream-interpretation have received a new stimulus from psycho-analysis, one constantly finds that scru­ pulous care is most unnecessarily attached to the accurate pre­ servation of the text of the dream. This is supposed to need protection from distortions and attritions in the hours immedi­ ately after waking. Some psycho-analysts, even, in giving the patient instructions to write down every dream immediately upon waking, seem not to rely consistently enough upon their knowledge of the conditions of dream-formation. In therapeutic work this rule is superfluous; 3 and patients are glad to make use of it to disturb their sleep and to display great zeal where it can 1 [This is possibly a reference to a passage in the paper 'On Beginning the Treatment', p. 140 f. below.] 1 [This is dealt with in the paper 'On Beginning the Treatment', p. 139 ff. below.] 8 [For scimtific purposes, and in the analysis of his own dreams, Freud wrote down their text. See, for instance, The Interpretation of Dreams, Standard Ed., 4, 106 and 5, 455 n. The question of the 'text' of dreams is further discussed there, ibid., 5, 512-15.]



serve no useful purpose. For even if the text of a dream is in this way laboriously rescued from oblivion, it is easy enough to convince oneself that nothing has been achieved for the patient. Associations will not come to the text, and the result is the same as if the dream had, not been preserved. No doubt the doctor has acquired some knowledge which he would not have done otherwise. But it is not the same thing whether the analyst knows something or the patient knows it; the importance of this distinction for the technique of psycho-analysis will be more fully considered elsewhere.1 In conclusion, I will mention a particular type of dream which, in the nature of the case, occurs only in the course of psycho-analytic treatment, and may bewilder or mislead be­ ginners. These are the corroborative dreams which, as it were, 'tag along behind'; 2 they are easily accessible to analysis, and their translation merely presents what the treatment has in­ ferred during the last few days from the material of the daily associations. When this happens, it looks as though the patient has been amiable enough to bring us in dream-form• exactly what we had been 'suggesting' to him immediately before. The more experienced analyst will no doubt have some difficulty in attributing any such amiability to the patient; he accepts such dreams as hoped-for confirmations, and recognizes that they are only observed under certain conditions brought about by the influence of the treatment. The great majority of dreams forge ahead of the analysis; so that, after subtraction of every­ thing in them which is already known and understood, there still remains a more or less clear hint at something which has hitherto been hidden. 1 [In the later part of'On Beginning the Treatment', p. 141 f. below.] • [Cf. Section VII of 'Remarks upon the Theory and Practice of Dream-Interpretation' (1923c).]


ZUR DYNAMIK DER tlBERTRAGUNG (a) 1912 1918 1924 1925 1931 1943 (b)


Zbl. Psychoan., 2 (4), 167-73. S.K.S.N., 4, 388-98. (1922, 2nd ed.) Technik und Metapsychol., 53-63. G.S., 6, 53-63. Neurosenlehre und Technik, 328-40. G.W., 8, 364-74.


'The Dynamics of Transference' 1924 C.P., 2, 312-22. (Tr. Joan Riviere.) The present translation, by James Strachey, appears here for the first time. Though Freud included this paper (published in January, 1912) in the series on technique, it is in fact more in the nature of a theoretical examination of the phenomenon of transference and of the way in which it operates in analytic treatment. Freud had already approached the question in some short remarks at the end ofthe case history of'Dora' (1905e [1901]), Standard Ed., 7, 116-17. He dealt with it much more fully in the last half of Lecture XXVII and the first half of Lecture XXVIII of his Introductory Lectures (1916-1 7); and, near the end of his life, made a number of important comments on the subject in the course of his long paper 'Analysis Terminable and Intermin­ able' (1937c).

THE DYNAMICS OF TRANSFERENCE THE almost inexhaustible topic of transference has recently been dealt with by Wilhelm Stekel [191 lb] in this joumal1 on descriptive lines. I should like in the following pages to add a few remarks to explain how it is that transference is necessarily brought about during a psycho-analytic treatment, and how it comes to play its familiar part in it. It must be understood that each individual, through the combined operation of his innate disposition and the influences brought to bear on him during his early years, has acquired a specific method of his own in his conduct of his erotic life-that is, in the preconditions to falling in love which he lays down, in the instincts he satisfies and the aims he sets himself in the course of it. 2 This produces what might be described as a

[The Zentralblatt fiir Psychoanalyse, in which the present paper first appeared.] 1 I take this opportunity of defending myself against the mistaken charge of having denied the importance of innate (constitutional) factors because I have stressed that of infantile impressions. A charge such as this arises from the restricted nature of what men look for in the field of causation: in contrast to what ordinarily holds good in the real world, people prefer to be satisfied with a single causative factor. Psycho­ analysis has talked a lot about the accidental factors in aetiology and little about the constitutional ones; but that is only because it was able to contribute something fresh to the former, while, to begin with, it knew no more than was commonly known about the latter. We refuse to posit any contrast in principle between the two sets of aetiological factors; on the contrary, we assume that the two sets regularly act jointly in bringing about the observed result. ,falµwv Ketl Tvx11 [Endow­ ment and Chance] determine a man's fate-rarely or never one of these powers alone. The amount of aetiological effectiveness to be attributed to each of them can only be arrived at in every individual case separately. These cases may be arranged in a series according to the varying proportion in which the two factors are present, and this series will no doubt have its extreme cases. We shall estimate the share taken by constitution or experience differently in individual cases according to the stage reached by our knowledge; and we shall retain the right to modify our judgement along with changes in our understanding. Incidentally, one might venture to regard constitution itself as a precipi­ tate from the accidental effects produced on the endlessly long chain of our ancestors. 1




stereotype plate (or several such), which is constantly repeated -constantly reprinted afresh-in the course of the person's life, so far as external circumstances and the nature of the love­ objects accessible to him permit, and which is certainly not entirely insusceptible to change in the face of recent experiences. Now, our observations have shown that only a portion of these impulses which determine the course of erotic life have passed through the full process of psychical development. That portion is directed towards reality, is at the disposal of the conscious personality, and forms a part of it. Another portion of the libidinal impulses has been held up in the course of develop­ ment; it has been kept away from the conscious personality and from reality, and has either been prevented from further expansion except in phantasy or has remained wholly in the unconscious so that it is unknown to the personality's conscious­ ness. If someone's need for love is not entirely satisfied by reality, he is bound to approach every new person whom he meets with libidinal anticipatory ideas; and it is highly probable that both portions of his libido, the portion that is capable of becoming conscious as well as the unconscious one, have a share in forming that attitude. Thus it is a perfectly normal and intelligible thing that the libidinal cathexis of someone who is partly unsatisfied, a cathexis which is held ready in anticipation, should be directed as well to the figure of the doctor. It follows from our earlier hypothesis that this cathexis will have recourse to prototypes, will attach itself to one of the stereotype plates which are present in the subject; or, to put the position in another way, the cathexis will introduce the doctor into one of the psychical 'series' which the patient has already formed. If the 'father­ imago', to use the apt term introduced by Jung (1911, 164), is the decisive factor in bringing this about, the outcome will tally with the real relations of the subject to his doctor. But the transference is not tied to this particular prototype: it may also come about on the lines of the mother-imago or brother-imago. The peculiarities ofthe transference to the doctor, thanks to which it exceeds, both in amount and nature, any­ thing that could be justified on sensible or rational grounds, are made intelligible if we bear in mind that this transference has precisely been set up not only by the conscious anticipatory ideas but also by those that have been held back or are unconscious:



There would be nothing more to discuss or worry about in this behaviour of transference, if it were not that two points remain unexplained about it which are of particular interest to psycho-analysis. Firstly, we do not understand why trans­ ference is so much more intense with neurotic subjects in analysis than it is with other such people who are not being analysed; and secondly, it remains a puzzle why in analysis transference emerges as the most powerful resistance to the treat­ ment, whereas outside analysis it must be regarded as the vehicle of cure and the condition of success. For our experience has shown us-and the fact can be confirmed as often as we please-that if a patient's free associations fail 1 the stoppage can invariably be removed by an assurance that he is being dominated at the moment by an association which is concerned with the doctor himself or with something connected with him. As soon as this explanation is given, the stoppage is removed, or the situation is changed from one in which the associations fail into one in which they are being kept back. At first sight it appears to be an immense disadvantage in psycho­ analysis as a method that what is elsewhere the strongest factor towards success is changed in it into the most powerful medium of resistance. If, however, we examine the situation more closely, we can at least clear away the first of our two problems. It is not a fact that transference emerges with greater intensity and lack of restraint during psycho-analysis than outside it. In institutions in which nerve patients are treated non-analyti­ cally, we can observe transference occurring with the greatest intensity and in the most unworthy forms, extending to nothing less than mental bondage, and moreover showing the plainest erotic colouring. Gabriele Reuter, with her sharp powers of observation, described this at a time when there was no such thing as psycho-analysis, in a remarkable book which betrays in every respect the clearest insight into the nature and genesis of neuroses. 2 These characteristics of transference are therefore to be attributed not to psycho-analysis but to neurosis itself. Our second problem-the problem of why transference ap­ pears in psycho-analysis as resistance-has been left for the moment untouched; and we must now approach it more closely. 1 I mean when they really cease, and not when, for instance, the patient keeps them back owing to ordinary feelings of unpleasure. 1 Aus guter Familie, Berlin, 1895,



Let us picture the psychological situation during the treatment. An invariable and indispensable precondition of every onset of a psychoneurosis is the process to which Jung has given the appropriate name of 'introversion' . 1 That is to say: the portion of libido which is capable of becoming conscious and is directed towards reality is diminished, and the portion which is directed away from reality and is unconscious, and which, though it may still feed the subject's phantasies, nevertheless belongs to the unconscious, is proportionately increased. The libido (whether wholly or in part) has entered on a regressive course and has revived the subject's infantile imagos. 2 The analytic treatment now proceeds to follow it; it seeks to track down the libido, to make it accessible to consciousness and, in the end, serviceable for reality. Where the investigations of analysis come upon the libido withdrawn into its hiding-place, a struggle is bound to break out; all the forces which have caused the libido to regress will rise up as 'resistances' against the work of analysis, in order to conserve the new state of things. For if the libido's introver­ sion or regression had not been justified by a particular relation 1 Even though some of Jung's remarks give the impression that he regards this introversion as something which is characteristic of dementia praecox and does not come into account in the same way in other neuroses.-[This seems to be the first published occasion of Freud's use of 'introversion'. The term was first introduced in Jung, 1910b, 38; but Freud is probably criticizing Jung, 1911, 135-6 n. (English translation, 1916, 487). Some further comment on Jung's use of the term will be found in a footnote to a later technical paper (1913c, p. 125 below) as well as in Freud's paper on narcissism (1914c, Standard Ed., 14, 74) and in a passage towards the end of Lecture XX.III of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17). Freud used the term extremely seldom in his later writings.] 11 It would be convenient if we could say 'it has recathected his infantile complexes'. But this would be incorrect: the only justifiable way of putting it would be 'the unconscious portions of those com­ plexes'.-The topics dealt with in this paper are so extraordinarily involved that it is tempting to embark on a number of contiguous problems whose clarification would in point of fact be necessary before it would be possible to speak in unambiguous tenns of the psychical processes that are to be described here. These problems include the drawing of a line of distinction between introversion and regression, the fitting of the theory of complexes into the libido theory, the relations ofphantasying to the conscious and the unconscious as well as to reality -and others besides. I need not apologize for having resisted this temptation in the present paper.



between the subject and the external world-stated in the most general terms, by the frustration of satisfaction 1-and if it had not for the moment even become expedient, it could never have taken place at all. But the resistances from this source are not the only ones or indeed the most powerful. The libido at the disposal of the subject's personality had always been under the influence of the attraction of his unconscious complexes (or, more correctly, of the portions of those complexes belonging to the unconscious), 2 and it entered on a regressive course because the attraction of reality had diminished. In order to liberate it, this attraction of the unconscious has to be overcome; that is, the repression of the unconscious instincts and of their produc­ tions, which has meanwhile been set up in the subject, must be removed. This is responsible for by far the largest part of the resistance, which so often causes the illness to persist even after the turning away from reality has lost its temporary justifica­ tion. The analysis has to struggle against the resistances from both these sources. The resistance accompanies the treatment step by step. Every single association, every act of the person under treatment must reckon with the resistance and represents a compromise between the forces that are striving towards recovery and the opposing ones which I have described. If now we follow a pathogenic complex from its representa­ tion in the conscious (whether this is an obvious one in the form of a symptom or something quite inconspicuous) to its root in the unconscious, we shall soon enter a region in which the resistance makes itselffelt so clearly that the next association must take account of it and appear as a compromise between its demands and those of the work of investigation. It is at this point, on the evidence of our experience, that transference enters on the scene. When anything in the complexive material (in the subject-matter of the complex) is suitable for being transferred on to the figure of the doctor, that transference is carried out; it produces the next association, and announces itself by indications of a resistance-by a stoppage, for instance. We infer from this experience that the transference-idea has penetrated into consciousness in front of any other possible associations because it satisfies the resistance. An event of this 1 [See the full discussion of this in the paper on 'Types of Onset of Neurosis' (1912c), p. 231 ff. below.] 1 [Cf. the beginning of footnote ·2, on the previous page.]



sort is repeated on countless occasions in the course of an analysis. Over and over again, when we come near to a patho­ genic complex, the portion of that complex which is capable of transference is first pushed forward into consciousness and defended with the greatest obstinacy.1 After it has been overcome, the overcoming of the other portions of the complex raises few further difficulties. The longer an analytic treatment lasts and the more clearly the patient realizes that distortions of the pathogenic material cannot by themselves offer any protection against its being uncovered, the more consistently does he make use of the one sort of distortion which obviously affords him the greatest advantages-distor­ tion through transference. These circumstances tend towards a situation in which finally every conflict has to be fought out in the sphere of transference. Thus transference in the analytic treatment invariably ap­ pears to us in the first instance as the strongest weapon of the resistance, and we may conclude that the intensity and per­ sistence of the transference are an effect and an expression of the resistance. The mechanism of transference is, it is true, dealt with when we have traced it back to the state of readiness of the libido, which has remained in possession of infantile imagos; but the part transference plays in the treatment can only be ex­ plained if we enter into its relations with resistance. How does it come about that transference is so admirably suited to be a means of resistance? It might be thought that the answer can be given without difficulty. For it is evident that it becomes particularly hard to admit to any proscribed wishful impulse if it has to be revealed in front of the very person to whom the impulse relates. Such a necessity gives rise to situa­ tions which in the real world seem scarcely possible. But it is precisely this that the patient is aiming at when he makes the object of his emotional impulses coincide with the doctor. Further consideration, however, shows that this apparent gain 1 This, however, should not lead us to conclude in general that the element selected for transference-resistance is of peculiar pathogenic importance. If in the course of a battle there is a particularly embittered struggle over the possession of some little church or some individual farm, there is no need to suppose that the church is a national shrine, perhaps, or that the house shelters the army's pay-chest. The value of the object may be a purely tactical one and may perhaps emerge only in this one battle.-[On transference-resistance see also p. 138.]



cannot provide the solution of the problem. Indeed, a relation of affectionate and devoted dependence can, on the contrary, help a person over all the difficulties of making an admission. In analogous real situations people will usually say: 'I feel no shame in front of you: I can say anything to you.' Thus the transference to the doctor might just as easily serve to facilitate admissions, and it is not clear why it should make things more difficult. The answer to the question which has been repeated so often in these pages is not to be reached by further reflection but by what we discover when we examine individual transference­ resistances occurring during treatment. We find in the end that we cannot understand the employment of transference as resist­ ance so long as we think simply of'transference'. We must make up our minds to distinguish a 'positive' transference from a 'negative' one, the transference of affectionate feelings from that of hostile ones, and to treat the two sorts of transference to the doctor separately. Positive transference is then further divisible into transference of friendly or affectionate feelings which are admissible to consciousness and transference of pro­ longations of those feelings into the unconscious. As regards the latter, analysis shows that they invariably go back to erotic sources. And we are thus led to the discovery that all the emotional relations of sympathy, friendship, trust, and the like, which can be turned to good account in our lives, are genetically linked with sexuality and have developed from purely sexual desires through a softening of their sexual aim, however pure and unsensual they may appear to our conscious self-percep­ tion. Originally we knew only sexual objects; and psycho­ analysis shows us that people who in our real life are merely admired or respected may still be sexual objects for our unconscious. Thus the solution of the puzzle is that transference to the doctor is suitable for resistance to the treatment only in so far as it is a negative transference or a positive transference of repressed erotic impulses. If we 'remove' the transference by making it conscious, we are detaching only these two com­ ponents of the emotional act from the person of the doctor; the other component, which is admissible to consciousness and unobjectionable, persists and is the vehicle of success in psycho­ analysis exactly as it is in other methods of treatment. To this S.F.XIl-H



extent we readily admit that the results of psycho-analysis rest upon suggestion; by suggestion, however, we must understand, as Ferenczi ( 1909) does, the influencing of a person by means of the transference phenomena which are possible in his case. We take care of the patient's final independence by employing suggestion in order to get him to accomplish a piece of psychical work which has as its necessary result a permanent improve­ ment in his psychical situation. The further question may be raised of why it is that the resistance phenomena of transference only appear in psycho­ analysis and not in indifferent forms of treatment (e.g. in institutions) as well. The reply is that they do show themselves in these other situations too, but they have to be recognized as such. The breaking out of a negative transference is actually quite a common event in institutions. As soon as a patient comes under the dominance of the negative transference he leaves the institution in an unchanged or relapsed condition. The erotic transference does not have such an inhibiting effect in institu­ tions, since in them, just as in ordinary life, it is glossed over instead of being uncovered. But it is manifested quite clearly as a resistance to recovery, not, it is true, by driving the patient out of the institution-on the contrary, it holds him back in it­ but by keeping him at a distance from life. For, from the point of view of recovery, it is a matter of complete indifference whether the patient overcomes this or that anxiety or inhibition in the institution; what matters is that he shall be free of it in his real life as weU. The negative transference deserves a detailed examination, which it cannot be given within the limits of the present paper. In the curable forms of psychoneurosis it is found side by side with the affectionate transference, often directed simultane­ ously towards the same person. Bleuler has coined the excellent term 'ambivalence' to describe this phenomenon.1 Up to a point, ambivalence of feeling of this sort seems to be normal; but a high degree of it is certainly a special peculiarity of 1 Bleuler, 1911, 43-4 and 305-6.-Cf. a lecture on ambivalence delivered by him in Berne in 1910, reported in the ,?,entralblatt fur Psychoanalyse, 1, 266.-Stekel has proposed the term 'bipolarity' for the same phenomenon.-[This appears to have been Freud's first mention of the word 'ambivalence'. He occasionally used it in a sense other than Bleuler's, to describe the simultaneous presence of active and passive impulses. See an Editor's footnote, Standard Ed., 14, 131.]



neurotic people. In obsessional neurotics an early separation of the 'pairs of opposites' 1 seems to be characteristic of their instinctual life and to be one of their constitutional precondi­ tions. Ambivalence in the emotional trends of neurotics is the best explanation of their ability to enlist their transferences in the service ofresistance. Where the capacity for transference has become essentially limited to a negative one, as is the case with paranoics, there ceases to be any possibility of influence or cure. In all these reflections, however, we have hitherto dealt only with one side of the phenomenon of transference; we must turn our attention to another aspect of the same subject. Anyone who forms a correct appreciation of the way in which a person in analysis, as soon as he comes under the dominance of any considerable transference-resistance, is flung out of his real relation to the doctor, how he feels at liberty then to dis­ regard the fundamental rule of psycho-analysis 2 which lays it down that whatever comes into· one's head must be reported without criticizing it, how he forgets the intentions with which he started the treatment, and how he regards with indifference logical arguments and conclusions which only a short time before had made a great impression on him-anyone who has observed all this will feel it necessary to look for an explanation of his impression in other factors besides those that have already been adduced. Nor are such factors far to seek: they arise once again from the psychological situation in which the treatment places the patient. In the process of seeking out the libido which has escaped from the patient's conscious, we have penetrated into the realm of the unconscious. The reactions which we bring about reveal 1 [fhe pairs of opposite instincts were first described by Freud in his Three Essays (l905d), Standard Ed., 7, 160 and 166-7, and later on in 'Instincts and their Vicissitudes' (1915c), Standard Ed., 14, 127 ff. Their importance in obsessional neurosis was discussed in the 'Rat Man' case history (1909d), Standard Ed., 10, 237 ff.] 1 [This seems to be the first use of what was henceforward to become the regular description of the essential technical rule. A very similar phrase ('the main rule of psycho-analysis') had, however, been used already in the third of Freud's Clark University Lectures (1910a), Standard Ed., 11, 33. The idea itself, of course, goes back a long way; it is expressed, for instance, in Chapter II of The Interpretation of DreamJ (1900a), Standard Ed., 4, 101, in essentially the same terms as in the paper 'On Beginning the Treatment' (1913c), p. 134 below, where, incidentally, the subject will be found discussed in a long footnote.]



at the same time some of the characteristics which we have come to know from the study of dreams. The unconscious impulses do not want to be remembered in the way the treatment desires them to be, but endeavour to reproduce themselves in accordance with the timelessness of the unconscious and its capacity for hallucination. 1 Just as happens in dreams, the patient regards the products of the awakening of his un­ conscious impulses as contemporaneous and real; he seeks to put his passions into action without taking any account of the real situation. The doctor tries to compel him to fit these emotional impulses into the nexus of the treatment and of his life-history, to submit them to intellectual consideration and to understand them in the light of their psychical value. This struggle between the doctor and the patient, between intel­ lect and instinctual life, between understanding and seeking to act, is played out almost exclusively in the phenomena of transference. It is on that field that the victory must be won­ the victory whose expression is the permanent cure of the neurosis. It cannot be disputed that controlling the phenomena of transference presents the psycho-analyst with the greatest difficulties. But it should not be forgotten that it is precisely they that do us the inestimable service of making the patient's hidden and forgotten erotic impulses immediate and manifest. For when all is said and done, it is impossible to destroy anyone in absentia or in effigie.8 1 [Ibis is elaborated in a later technical paper 'Recollecting, Repeat­ ing and Working-Through' (1914g), p. 150 ff. below.] 1 [Cf. the similar remark near the bottom of p. 152 below.]



1912 Z,bl. Psychoan., 2 (9), 483-9. 1918 S.K.S.N., 4, 399-411. (1922, 2nd ed.) 1924 Technik und Metapsychol., 64-75. 1925 G.S., 6, 64-75. 1931 Neurosenlehre und Technik, 340-51. 1943 G.W., 8, 376--87.



'Recommendations for Physicians on the Psycho-Analytic Method of Treatment' 1924 C.P., 2, 323-33. (Tr. Joan Riviere.) The present translation, with a changed title, is a modified version of the one published in 1924. This paper first appeared in June, 1912.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO PHYSICIANS PRACTISING PSYCHO-ANALYSIS THE technical rules which I am putting forward here have been arrived at from my own experience in the course of many years, after unfortunate results had led me to abandon other methods. It will easily be seen that they (or at least many of them) may be summed up in a single precept. [C£ p. 115.] My hope is that observance of them will spare physicians practising analysis much unnecessary effort and guard them against some oversights. I must however make it clear that what I am asserting is that this technique is the only one suited to my individuality; I do not venture to deny that a physician quite differently constituted might find himself driven to adopt a different attitude to his patients and to the task before him.

(a) The first problem confronting an analyst who is treating more than one patient in the day will seem to him the hardest. It is the task of keeping in mind all the innumerable names, dates, detailed memories and pathological products which each patient communicates in the course of months and years of treatment, and of not confusing them with similar material produced by other patients under treatment simultaneously or previously. If one is required to analyse six, eight, or even more patients daily, the feat of memory involved in achieving this will provoke incredulity, astonishment or even commiseration in uninformed observers. Curiosity will in any case be felt about the technique which makes it possible to master such an abundance of material, and the expectation will be that some special expedients are required for the purpose. The technique, however, is a very simple one. As we shall see, it rejects the use of any special expedient (even that of taking notes). It consists simply in not directing one's notice to anything in particular and in maintaining the same 'evenly­ suspended attention' (as I have called it) 1 in the face of all that 1 [The reference seems to be to a sentence in the case history of 'Little Hans' (1909b), Standard Ed., 10, 23, though the wording there is slightly 111

112 RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE one hears. In this way we spare ourselves a strain on our attention which could not in any case be kept up for several hours daily, and we avoid a danger which is inseparable from the exercise of deliberate attention. For as soon as anyone deliberately concentrates his attention to a certain degree, he begins to select from the material before him; one point will be fixed in his mind with particular clearness and some other will be correspondingly disregarded, and in making this selection he will be following his expectations or inclinations. This, how­ ever, is precisely what must not be done. In making the selec­ tion, if he follows his expectations he is in danger of never finding anything but what he already knows; and if he follows his inclinations he will certainly falsify what he may perceive. It must not be forgotten that the things one hears are for the most part things whose meaning is only recognized later on. It will be seen that the rule of giving equal notice to every­ thing is the necessary counterpart to the demand made on the patient that he should communicate everything that occurs to him without criticism or selection. If the doctor behaves other­ wise, he is throwing away most of the advantage which results from the patient's obeying the 'fundamental rule of psycho­ analysis' • 1 The rule for the doctor may be expressed: 'He should withhold all conscious influences from his capacity to attend, and give himself over completely to his "unconscious memory".• Or, to put it purely in terms of technique: 'He should simply listen, and not bother about whether he is keeping anything in mind.' What is achieved in this manner will be sufficient for all requirements during the treatment. Those elements of the material which already form a connected context will be at the doctor's conscious disposal; the rest, as yet unconnected and in chaotic disorder, seems at first to be submerged, but rises readily into recollection as soon as the patient brings up something new to which it can be related and by which it can be continued. The undeserved compliment of having 'a remarkably good memory' which the patient pays one when one reproduces some detail after a year and a day can then be accepted with a smile, different. The present phrase occurs again later, in 'Two Encyclopaedia Articles' (1923a), Standard Ed., 18, 239.] 1 [See footnote 2, above, p. 107.]

RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE 113 whereas a conscious determinatio:p. to recollect the point would probably have resulted in failure. Mistakes in this process of remembering occur only at times and places at which one is disturbed by some personal con­ sideration (see below [p. 116])-that is, when one has fallen seriously below the standard ofan ideal analyst. Confusion with material brought up by other patients occurs very rarely. Where there is a dispute with the patient as to whether or how he has said some particular thing, the doctor is usually in the right. 1 ( b) I cannot advise the taking offull notes, the keeping ofa shorthand record, etc., during analytic sessions. Apart from the unfavourable impression which this makes on some patients, the same considerations as have been advanced with regard to attention apply here too. 8 A detrimental selection from the material will necessarily be made as one writes the notes or shorthand, and part of one's own mental activity is tied up in this way, which would be better employed in interpreting what one has heard. No objection can be raised to making exceptions to this rule in the case ofdates, the text of dreams, or particular noteworthy events which can easily be detached from their context and are suitable for independent use as instances. 3 But I am not in the habit of doing this either. As regards instances, I write them down from memory in the evening after work is over; as regards texts of dreams to which I attach importance, I get the patient to repeat them to me after he has related them so that I can fix them in my mind.

(c) Taking notes during the session with the patient might A patient will often assert that he has already told the doctor some­ thing on a previous occasion, while the doctor can assure him with a quiet feeling of superiority that it has come up now for the first time. It then turns out that the patient had previously had the intention of saying it, but had been prevented from performing his intention by a resistance which was still present. His recollection of his intention is indistinguish­ able to him from a recollection of its performance. [Freud enlarged on this point not long afterwards in a short paper on 'Fausse Reconnais­ sance' occurring during analysis (1914a), Standard Ed., 13, 201.] 1 [A footnote to the same effect had been inserted by Freud in his 'Rat Man' case history (1909d), Standard Ed., 10, 159.] 8 [Presumably for scientific purposes.] 1


be justified by an intention of publishing a scientific study of the case. On general grounds this can scarcely be denied. Nevertheless it must be borne in mind that exact reports of analytic case histories are of less value than might be expected. Strictly speaking, they only possess the ostensible exactness of which 'modern' psychiatry affords us some striking examples. They are, as a rule, fatiguing to the reader and yet do not succeed in being a substitute for his actual presence at an analysis. Experience invariably shows that ifreaders are willing to believe an analyst they will have confidence in any slight revision to which he has submitted his material; if, on the other hand, they are unwilling to take analysis and the analyst seriously, they will pay no attention to accurate verbatim records of the treatment either. This is not the way, it seems, to remedy the lack of convincing evidence to be found in psycho­ analytic reports. (d) One of the claims of psycho-analysis to distinction is, no doubt, that in its execution research and treatment coincide; nevertheless, after a certain point, the technique required for the one opposes that required for the other. It is not a good thing to work on a case scientifically while treatment is still proceeding-to piece together its structure, to try to foretell its further progress, and to get a picture from time to time of the current state of affairs, as scientific interest would demand. Cases which are devoted from the first to scientific purposes and are treated accordingly suffer in their outcome; while the most successful cases are those in which one proceeds, as it were, without any purpose in view, allows oneself to be taken by surprise by any new turn in them, and always meets them with an open mind, free from any presuppositions. The correct be­ haviour for an analyst lies in swinging over according to need from the one mental attitude to the other, in avoiding specula­ tion or brooding over cases while they are in analysis, and in submitting the material obtained to a synthetic process of thought only after the analysis is concluded. The distinction between the two attitudes would be meaningless if we already possessed all the knowledge (or at least the essential knowledge) about the psychology of the unconscious and about the structure of the neuroses that we can obtain from psycho­ analytic work. At present we are still far from that goal and

RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE 115 we ought not to cut ourselves off from the possibility of testing what we have already learnt and of extending our knowledge further.

(e) I cannot advise my colleagues too urgently to model themselves during psycho-analytic treatment on the surgeon, who puts aside all his feelings, even his human sympathy, and concentrates his mental forces on the single aim of performing the operation as skilfully as possible. Under present-day con­ ditions the feeling that is most dangerous to a psycho-analyst is the therapeutic ambition to achieve by this novel and much disputed method something that will produce a convincing effect upon other people. This will not only put him into a state of mind which is unfavourable for his work, but will make him helpless against certain resistances ofthe patient, whose recovery, as we know, primarily depends on the interplay of forces in him. The justification for requiring this emotional coldness in the analyst is that it creates the most advantageous conditions for both parties: for the doctor a desirable protection for his own emotional life and for the patient the largest amount of help that we can give him to-day. A surgeon of earlier times took as his motto the words: 'Je le pansai,Dieu le guerit.' 1 The analyst should be content with something similar.

(J) It is easy to see upon what aim the different rules I have brought forward converge. [See p. 111.] They are all intended to create for the doctor a counterpart to the 'fundamental rule of psycho-analysis' which is laid down for the patient. Just as the patient must relate everything that his self-observation can detect, and keep back all the logical and affective objections that seek to induce him to make a selection from among them, so the doctor must put himself in a position to make use of everything he is told for the purposes of interpretation and of recognizing the concealed unconscious material without sub­ stituting a censorship of his own for the selection that the patient has forgone. To put it in a formula: he must turn his own unconscious like a receptive organ towards the transmit­ ting unconscious of the patient. He must adjust himself to the patient as a telephone receiver is adjusted to the transmitting 1 ['I dressed his wounds, God cured him.' The saying is attributed to the French surgeon, Ambroise Pare (c. 1517-1590).]

116 RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALITIC TECHNIQUE microphone. Just as the receiver converts back into sound­ waves the electric oscillations in the telephone line which were set up by sound waves, so the doctor's unconscious is able, from the derivatives of the unconscious which are communicated to him, to reconstruct that unconscious, which has determined the patient's free associations. But if the doctor is to be in a position to use his unconscious in this way as an instrument in the analysis, he must himself fulfil one psychological condition to a high degree. He may not tolerate any resistances in himself which hold back from his consciousness what has been perceived by his unconscious; otherwise he would introduce into the analysis a new species of selection and distortion which would be far more detrimental than that resulting from concentration of conscious attention. It is not enough for this that he himself should be an approxi­ mately normal person. It may be insisted, rather, that he should have undergone a psycho-analytic purification and have become aware of those complexes of his own which would be apt to interfere with his grasp of what the patient tells him. There can be no reasonable doubt about the disqualifying effect of such defects in the doctor; every unresolved repression in him con­ stitutes what has been aptly described by Stekel 1 as a 'blind spot' in his analytic perception. Some years ago I gave as an answer to the question of how one can become an analyst: 'By analysing one's own dreams.'• This preparation is no doubt enough for many people, but not for everyone who wishes to learn analysis. Nor can everyone succeed in interpreting his own dreams without outside help. I count it as one of the many merits of the Zurich school of analysis that they have laid increased emphasis on this require­ ment, and have embodied it in the demand that everyone who wishes to carry out analys es on other people shall first himself undergo an analysis by someone with expert knowledge. Anyone who takes up the work seriously should choose this course, which offers more than one advantagt:; the sacrifice involved in laying oneself open to another person without being driven to [Stekel, 191 la, 532.] [The reference is to the third of Freud's Clark University lectures (1910a [1909]), Standard Ed., 11, 33. Some account of his varying views on the subject will be found in an Editor's footnote to the 'History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement' (1914d), ibid., 14, 20-1.] 1


RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE 117 it by illness is amply rewarded. Not only is one's aim of learning to know what is hidqen in one's own mind far more rapidly attained and with less expense of affect, but impressions and convictions will be gained in relation to oneself which will be sought in vain from studying books and attending lectures. And lastly, we must not under-estimate the advantage to be derived from the lasting mental contact that is as a rule established between the student and his guide. 1 An analysis such as this of someone who is practically healthy will, as may be imagined, remain incomplete. Anyone who ca11 appreciate the high value of the self-knowledge and increase in self-control thus acquired will, when it is over, continue the analytic examination of his personality in the form of a self­ analysis, and be content to realize that, within himself as well as in the external world, he must always expect to find some­ thing new. But anyone who has scorned to take the precaution of being analysed himself will not merely be punished by being incapable of learning more than a certain amount from his patients, he will risk a more serious danger and one which may become a danger to others. He will easily fall into the tempta­ tion of projecting outwards some of the peculiarities of his own personality, which he has dimly perceived, into the field of science, as a theory having universal validity; he will bring the psycho-analytic method into discredit, and lead the in­ experienced astray. (g) I shall now add a few other rules, that will serve as a transition from the attitude of the doctor to the treatment of the patient. Young and eager psycho-analysts will no doubt be tempted to bring their own individuality freely into the discussion, in order to carry the patient along with them and lift him over the barriers of his own narrow personality. It might be expected that it would be quite allowable and indeed useful, with a view to overcoming the patient's existing resistances, for the doctor to afford him a glimpse of his own mental defects and conflicts and, by giving him intimate information about his own life, 1 [See, however, a less optimistic view expressed in Section II of 'Analysis Terminable and Interminable' (1937c). That paper, one of the very last of Freud's writings, touches at many other points (especially in Section VII) on the subject discussed in this and the next paragraph.]

118 RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE enable him to put himself on an equal footing. One confidence deserves another, and anyone who demands intimacy from someone else must be prepared to give it in return. But in psycho-analytic relations things often happen differ­ ently from what the psychology of consciousness might lead us to expect. Experience does not speak in favour of an affective technique of this kind. Nor is it hard to see that it involves a departure from psycho-analytic principles and verges upon treatment by suggestion. It may induce the patient to bring forward sooner and with less difficulty things he already knows but would otherwise have kept back for a time through conven­ tional resistances. But this technique achieves nothing towards the uncovering of what is unconscious to the patient. It makes him even more incapable of overcoming his deeper resistances, and in severer cases it invariably fails by encouraging the patient to be insatiable: he would like to reverse the situation, and finds the analysis of the doctor more interesting than his own. The resolution ofthe transference, too-one of the main tasks of the treatment-is made more difficult by an intimate attitude on the doctor's part, so that any gain there may be at the beginning is more than outweighed at the end. I have no hesitation, therefore, in condemning this kind of technique as incorrect. The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him. In practice, it is true, there is nothing to be said against a psychotherapist combining a certain amount of analysis with some suggestive influence in order to achieve a perceptible result in a shorter time-as is necessary, for instance, in institu­ tions. But one has a right to insist that he himself should be in no doubt about what he is doing and should know that his method is not that of true psycho-analysis.

(h) Another temptation arises out of the educative activity which, in psycho-analytic treatment, devolves on the doctor without any deliberate intention on his part. When the develop­ mental inhibitions are resolved, it happens of itself that the doctor finds himself in a position to indicate new aims for the trends that have been liberated. It is then no more than a natural ambition ifhe endeavours to make something specially excellent of a person whom he has been at such pains to free from his neurosis and if he prescribes high aims for his wishes.

RECOMMENDATIONS ON ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE 119 But here again the doctor should hold himself in check, and take the patient's capacities rather than his own desires as guide. Not every neurotic has a high talent for sublimation; one can assume of many of them that they would not have fallen ill at all if they had possessed the art of sublimating their in­ stincts. If we press them unduly towards sublimation and cut them off from the most accessible and convenient instinctual satisfactions, we shall usually make life even harder for them than they feel it in any case. As a doctor, one must above all be tolerant to the weakness of a patient, and must be content if one has won back some degree of capacity for work and enjoyment for a person even of only moderate worth. Educative ambition is of as little use as therapeutic ambition. It must further be borne in mind that many people fall ill precisely from an attempt to sublimate their instincts beyond the degree permitted by their organization and that in those who have a capacity for sublimation the process usually takes place of itself as soon as their inhibitions have been overcome by analysis. In my opinion, therefore, efforts invariably to make use of the analytic treatment to bring about sublimation of instinct are, though no doubt always laudable, far from being in every case advisable.

(i) To what extent should the patient's intellectual co-opera­ tion be sought for in the treatment? It is difficult to say any­ thing of general applicability on this point: the patient's person­ ality is the determining factor. But in any case caution and self-restraint must be observed in this connection. It is wrong to set a patient tasks, such as collecting his memories or thinking over some particular period of his life. On the contrary, he has to learn above all-what never comes easily to anyone-that mental activities such as thinking something over or con­ centrating the attention solve none of the riddles of a neurosis; that can only be done by patiently obeying the psycho-analytic rule, which enjoins the exclusion of all criticism of the un­ conscious or of its derivatives. One must be especially unyielding about obedience to that rule with patients who practise the art of sheering off into intellectual discussion during their treat­ ment, who speculate a great deal and often very wisely about their condition and in that way avoid doing anything to over­ come it. For this reason I dislike making use of analytic



writings as an assistance to my patients; I require them to learn by personal experience, and I assure them that they will acquire wider and more valuable knowledge than the whole literature of psycho-analysis could teach them. I recognize, however, that under institutional conditions it may be of great advantage to employ reading as a preparation for patients in analysis and as a means of creating an atmosphere of influence. I must give a most earnest warning against any attempt to gain the confidence or support of parents or relatives by giving them psycho-analytic books to read, whether of an introductory or an advanced kind. This well-meant step usually has the effect of bringing on prematurely the natural opposition of the relatives to the treatment-an opposition which is bound to appear sooner or later-so that the treatment is never even begun. Let me express a hope that the increasing experience of psycho-analysts will soon lead to agreement on questions of technique and on the most effective method of treating 11eurotic patients. As regards the treatment of their relatives I must confess myself utterly at a loss, and I have in general little faith in any individual treatment of them.



S,F, Xll-I


(a) 1913 1918 1924 1925 1931 1943


Int. ,Z. Psychoanal., 1 (1), 1-10 and (2), 139-46. S.K.S.N., 4, 412-40. (1922, 2nd ed.) Technik und Metapsychol., 84-108. G.S., 6, 84-108. Neurosenlehre und Technik, 359-85. G.W., 8, 454-78.

(b) ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 'Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psycho­ Analysis: On Beginning the Treatment. The Question of the First Communications. The Dynamics of the Cure' 1924 C.P., 2, 342-65. (Tr. Joan Riviere.) The present translation, with a changed title, is a modified version of the one published in 1924. This paper was published in two instalments, in January and March, 1913. The first instalment, ending with the words 'with what material is the treatment to begin?' (on p. 134 below), bore the title 'Weitere Ratschlage zur Technik der Psycho­ analyse: I. Zur Einleitung der Behandlung'. The second instal­ ment bore the same title, but with the additional words: '-Die Frage der ersten Mitteilungen-Die Dynamik der Heilung.' This full title is the one rendered in the first English translation as given above. All the German editions from 1924 onwards adopted the short title 'Zur Einleitung der Behand­ lung', without any additions. In the author's original view (as is shown by his manuscript) the paper fell into three sections, corresponding to the title. The first of these, 'On Beginning the Treatment', ends on p. 139, the second, 'The Qpestion of the First Communications', on p. 141, where the third, 'The Dynamics of the Cure', begins,


ANYONE who hopes to learn the noble game of chess from books will soon discover that only the openings and end-games admit of an exhaustive systematic presentation and that the infinite variety of moves which develop after the opening defy any such description. This gap in instruction can only be filled by a diligent study of games fought out by masters. The rules which can be laid down for the practice of psycho-analytic treatment are subject to similar limitations. In what follows I shall endeavour to collect together for the use of practising analysts some of the rules for the beginning of the treatment. Among them there are some which may seem to be petty details, as, indeed, they are. Their justification is that they are simply rules of the game which acquire their importance from their relation to the general plan of the game. I think I am well-advised, however, to call these rules 'recom­ mendations' and not to claim any unconditional acceptance for them. The extraordinary diversity of the psychical con­ stellations concerned, the plasticity of all mental processes and the wealth of determining factors oppose any mechanization of the technique; and they bring it about that a course of action that is as a rule justified may at times prove ineffective, whilst one that is usually mistaken may once in a while lead to the desired end. These circumstances, however, do not prevent us from laying down a procedure for the physician which is effective on the average. Some years ago I set out the most important indications for selecting patients 2 and I shall therefore not repeat them here. They have in the meantime been approved by other psycho­ analysts. But I may add that since then I have made it my 1 [In the first edition only, the following footnote appeared at this point: 'Continuation of a series of papers which were published in the Zentralblattfiir Psyclwanalyse, 2 (3, 4 and 9). ("The Handling of Dream­ Interpretation in Psycho-Analysis", "The Dynamics of Transference", and "Recommendations to Physicians Practising Psycho-Analysis".)'] 1 '0n Psychotherapy' (1905a). 123



habit, when I know little about a patient, only to take him on at first provisionally, for a period of one to two weeks. If one breaks off within this period one spares the patient the distress­ ing impression of an attempted cure having failed. One has only been undertaking a 'sounding' in order to get to know the case and to decide whether it is a suitable one for psycho­ analysis. No other kind of preliminary examination but this procedure is at our disposal; the most lengthy discussions and questionings in ordinary consultations would offer no substitute. This preliminary experiment, however, is itself the beginning of a psycho-analysis and must conform to its rules. There may perhaps be this distinction made, that in it one lets the patient do nearly all the talking and explains nothing more than what is absolutely necessary to get him to go on with what he is saying. There are also diagnostic reasons for beginning the treatment with a trial period of this sort lasting for one or two weeks. Often enough, when one sees a neurosis with hysterical or obsessional symptoms, which is not excessively marked and has not been in existence for long-just the type of case, that is, that one would regard as suitable for treatment-one has to reckon with the possibility that it may be a preliminary stage of what is known as dementia praecox ('schizophrenia', in Bleuler's terminology; 'paraphrenia', as I have proposed to call it1 ), and that sooner or later it will show a well-marked picture of that affection. I do not agree that it is always possible to make the distinction so easily. I am aware that there are psychiatrists who hesitate less often in their differential diag­ nosis, but I have become convinced that just as often they make mistakes. To make a mistake, moreover, is of far greater moment for the psycho-analyst than it is for the clinical psychiatrist, as he is called. For the latter is not attempting to do anything that will be of use, whichever kind of case it may be. He merely runs the risk of making a theoretical mistake, and his diagnosis is of no more than academic interest. Where the psycho-analyst is concerned, however, if the case is un­ favourable he has committed a practical error; he has been responsible for wasted expenditure and has discredited his method of treatment. He cannot fulfil his promise of cure if the patient is suffering, not from hysteria or obsessional neurosis, but from paraphrenia, and he therefore has particularly strong 1 [See above, footnote I, p. 76.]



motives for avoiding mistakes in diagnosis. In an experimental treatment of a few weeks he will often observe suspicious signs which may determine him not to pursue the attempt any further. Unfortunately I cannot assert that an attempt of this kind always enables us to arrive at a certain decision; it is only one wise precaution the more. 1 Lengthy preliminary discussions before the beginning of the analytic treatment, previous treatment by another method and also previous acquaintance between the doctor and the patient who is to be analysed, have special disadvantageous conse­ quences for which one must be prepared. They result in the patient's meeting the doctor with a transference attitude which is already established and which the doctor must first slowly uncover instead of having the opportunity to observe the growth and development of the transference from the outset. In this way the patient gains a temporary start upon us which we do not willingly grant him in the treatment. One must mistrust all prospective patients who want to make a delay before beginning their treatment. Experience shows that when the time agreed upon has arrived they fail to put in an appearance, even though the motive for the delay-i.e. their rationalization of their intention-seems to the uninitiated to be above suspicion. Special difficulties arise when the analyst and his new patient or their families are on terms of friendship or have social ties with one another. The psycho-analyst who is asked to undertake the treatment of the wife or child of a friend must be prepared for it to cost him that friendship, no matter what the outcome of the treatment may be: nevertheless he must make the sacri­ fice if he cannot find a trustworthy substitute. Both lay public and doctors-still ready to confuse psycho­ analysis with treatment by suggestion-are inclined to attribute 1 There is a great deal to be said about this uncertainty in diagnosis, about the prospects of success in analysing mild fonns of paraphrenia and about the reasons for the similarity between the two disorders; but I cannot enlarge on these subjects in the present context. I should be glad to follow Jung in contrasting hysteria and obsessional neurosis as 'trans­ ference neuroses' with the paraphrenic affections as 'introversion neu­ roses', if it were not that such a usage would deprive the concept of 'introversion' (of the libido) ofitssolelegitimate meaning. [Cf.footnote 1, p. 102.]



great importance to the expectations which the patient brings to the new treatment. They often believe in the case of one patient that he will not give much trouble, because he has great confidence in psycho-analysis and is fully convinced of its truth and efficacy; whereas in the case of another, they think that he will undoubtedly prove more difficult, because he has a sceptical outlook and will not believe anything until he has experienced its successful results on his own person. Actually, however, this attitude on the part of the patient has very little importance. His initial trust or distrust is almost negligible compared with the internal resistances which hold the neurosis firmly in place. It is true that the patient's happy trustfulness makes our earliest relationship with him a very pleasant one; we are grateful to him for that, but we warn him that his favourable prepossession will be shattered by the first difficulty that arises in the analysis. To the sceptic we say that the analysis requires no faith, that he may be as critical and suspicious as he pleases and that we do not regard his attitude as the effect of his judgement at all, for he is not in a position to form a reliable judgement on these matters; his distrust is only a symptom like his other symptoms and it will not be an interference, provided he conscientiously carries out what the rule of the treatment requires of him. No one who is familiar with the nature of neurosis will be astonished to hear that even a man who is very well able to carry out an analysis on other people can behave like any other mortal and be capable of producing the most intense resistances as soon as he himself becomes the object of analytic investiga­ tion. When this happens we are once again reminded of the dimension of depth in the mind, and it does not surprise us to find that the neurosis has its roots in psychical strata to which an intellectual knowledge of analysis has not penetrated. Points of importance at the beginning of the analysis are arrangements about time and money. In regard to time, I adhere strictly to the principle of leasing a definite hour. Each patient is allotted a particular hour of my available working day; it belongs to him and he is liable for it, even if he does not make use of it. This arrange­ ment, which is taken as a matter of course for teachers of music or languages in good society, may perhaps seem too rigorous in a doctor, or even unworthy of his profession. There



will be an inclination to point to the many accidents which may prevent the patient from attending every day at the same hour and it will be expected that some allowance shall be made for the numerous intercurrent ailments which may occur in the course of a longish analytic treatment. But my answer is: no other way is practicable. Under a less stringent regime the 'occasional' non-attendances increase so greatly that the doctor finds his material existence threatened; whereas when the arrangement is adhered to, it turns out that accidental hin­ drances do not occur at all and intercurrent illnesses only very seldom. The analyst is hardly ever put in the position of enjoy­ ing a leisure hour which he is paid for and would be ashamed of; and he can continue his work without interruptions, and is spared the distressing and bewildering experience of finding that a break for which he cannot blame himself is always bound to happen just when the work promises to be especially im­ portant and rich in content. Nothing brings home to one so strongly the significance of the psychogenic factor in the daily life of men, the frequency of malingering and the non-existence of chance, as a few years' practice of psycho-analysis on the strict principle of leasing by the hour. In cases of undoubted organic illnesses, which, after all, cannot be excluded by the patient's having a psychical interest in attending, I break off the treatment, consider myself entitled to dispose elsewhere of the hour which becomes free, and take the patient back again as soon as he has recovered and I have another hour vacant. I work with my patients every day except on Sundays and public holidays-that is, as a rule, six days a week. For slight cases or the continuation of a treatment which is already well advanced, three days a week will be enough. Any restrictions of time beyond this bring no advantage either to the doctor or the patient; and at the beginning of an analysis they are quite out of the question. Even short interruptions have a slightly obscuring effect on the work. We used to speak jokingly of the 'Monday crust' when we began work again after the rest on Sunday. When the hours of work are less frequent, there is a risk of not being able to keep pace with the patient's real life and of the treatment losing contact with the present and being forced into by-paths. Occasionally, too, one comes across patients to whom one must give more than the average time of one hour a day, because the best part of an hour is gone

128 FURTIIER RECOMMENDATIONS ON TECHNIQUE before they begin to open up and to become communicative at all. An unwelcome question which the patient asks the doctor at the outset is: 'How long will the treatment take? How much time will you need to relieve me of my trouble?' If one has proposed a trial treatment of a few weeks one can avoid giving a direct answer to this question by promising to make a more reliable pronouncement at the end of the trial period. Our answer is like the answer given by the Philosopher to the Wayfarer in Aesop's fable. When the Wayfarer asked how long a journey lay ahead, the Philosopher merely answered 'Walk!' and afterwards explained his apparently unhelpful reply on the ground that he must know the length of the Way­ farer's stride before he could tell how long his journey would take.1 This expedient helps one over the first difficulties; but the comparison is not a good one, for the neurotic can easily alter his pace and may at times make only very slow progress. In point of fact, the question as to the probable duration of a treatment is almost unanswerable. As the combined result of lack of insight on the part of patients and disingenuousness on the part of doctors, analysis finds itself expected to fulfil the most boundless demands, and that in the shortest time. Let me, as an example, give some details from a letter which I received a few days ago from a lady in Russia. She is 53 2 years old, her illness began twenty­ three years ago and for the last ten years she has no longer been able to do any continuous work. 'Treatment in a number of institutions for nervous cases' have not succeeded in making an 'active life' possible for her. She hopes to be completely cured by psycho-analysis, which she has read about, but her illness has already cost her family so much money that she cannot manage to come to Vienna for longer than six weeks or two months. Another added difficulty is that she wishes from the very start to 'explain' herself in writing only, since any discussion of her complexes would cause an explosion of feeling in her or 'render her temporarily unable to speak'.-No one would expect a man to lift a heavy table with two fingers as if it were a light stool, or to build a large house in the time it 1 [This sentence has been slightly expanded in translation for the sake of clarity.] 1 [In the editions before 1925 this read '33'.]



would take to put up a wooden hut; but as soon as it becomes a question of the neuroses-which do not seem so far to have found a proper place in human thought-even intelligent people forget that a necessary proportion must be observed between time, work and success. This, incidentally, is an understandable result of the deep ignorance which prevails about the aetiology of the neuroses. Thanks to this ignorance, neurosis is looked on as a kind of 'maiden from afar'. 1 'None knew whence she came'; so they expected that one day she would vanish. Doctors lend support to these fond hopes. Even the informed among them often fail to estimate properly the severity of nervous disorders. A friend and colleague of mine, to whose great credit I account it that after several decades of scientific work on other principles he became converted to the merits of psycho-analysis, once wrote to me: 'What we need is a short, convenient, out-patient treatment for obsessional neurosis/ I could not supply him with it and felt ashamed; so I tried to excuse myself with the remark that specialists in internal diseases, too, would probably be very glad of a treatment for tuberculosis or carcinoma which combined these advantages. To speak more plainly, psycho-analysis is always a matter of long periods of time, of half a year or whole years-of longer periods than the patient expects. It is therefore our duty to tell the patient this before he finally decides upon the treatment. I consider it altogether more honourable, and also more expedient, to draw his attention-without trying to frighten him off, but at the very beginning-to the difficulties and sacrifices which analytic treatment involves, and in this way to deprive him of any right to say later on that he has been inveigled into a treatment whose extent and implications he did not realize. A patient who lets himself be dissuaded by this information would in any case have shown himself unsuitable later on. It is a good thing to institute a selection of this kind before the beginning of the treatment. With the progress of understanding among patients the number of those who success­ fully meet this first test increases. I do not bind patients to continue the treatment for a certain length of time; I allow each one to break off whenever he likes. But I do not hide it from him that if the treatment is stopped after only a small amount of work has been done it will not be 1 [An allusion to Schiller's poem 'Das Madchen aus der Fremde'.]



successful and may easily, like an unfinished operation, leave him in an unsatisfactory state. In the early years of my psycho-analytic practice I used to have the greatest difficulty in prevailing on my patients to continue their analysis. This difficulty has long since been shifted, and I now have to take the greatest pains to induce them to give it up. To shorten analytic treatment is a justifiable wish, and its fulfilment, as we shall learn, is being attempted along various lines. Unfortunately, it is opposed by a very important factor, namely, the slowness with which deep-going changes in the mind are accomplished-in the last resort, no doubt, the 'timelessness' of our unconscious processes.1 When patients are faced with the difficulty of the great expenditure of time re• quired for analysis they not infrequently manage to propose a way out of it. They divide up their ailments and describe some as unbearable, and others as secondary, and then say: 'If only you will relieve me from this one (for instance, a headache or a particular fear) I can deal with the other one on my own in my ordinary life.' In doing this, however, they over-estimate the selective power of analysis. The analyst is certainly able to do a great deal, but he cannot determine beforehand exactly what results he will effect. He sets in motion a process, that of the resolving of existing repressions. He can supervise this process, further it, remove obstacles in its way, and he can undoubtedly vitiate much ofit. But on the whole, once begun, it goes its own way and does not allow either the direction it takes or the order in which it picks up its points to be prescribed for it. The analyst's power over the symptoms of the disease may thus be compared to male sexual potency. A man can, it is true, beget a whole child, but even the strongest man cannot create in the female organism a head alone or an arm or a leg; he cannot even prescribe the child's sex. He, too, only sets in motion a highly complicated process, determined by events in the remote past, which ends with the severance of the child from its mother. A neurosis as well has the character of an organism. Its component manifestations are not independent of one another; they condition one another and give one another mutual support. A person suffers from one neurosis only, never from several which have accidentally met together in a single individual. The patient freed, according to his wish, from his 1 [Cf. 'The Unconscious' (1915e), Standard Ed., 14, 187 and footnote.]



one unendurable symptom might easily find that a symptom which had previously been negligible had now increased and grown unendurable. The analyst who wishes the treatment to owe its success as little as possible to its elements of suggestion (i.e. to the transference) will do well to refrain from making use of even the trace of selective influence upon the results of the therapy which may perhaps be open to him. The patients who are bound to be most welcome to him are those who ask him to give them complete health, in so far as that is attain­ able, and who place as much time at his disposal as is necessary for the process of recovery. Such favourable conditions as these are, of course, to be looked for in only a few cases. The next point that must be decided at the beginning of the treatment is the one of money, of the doctor's fee. An analyst does not dispute that money is to be regarded in the first instance as a medium for self-preservation and for obtaining power; but he maintains that, besides this, powerful sexual factors are involved in the value set upon it. He can point out that money matters are treated by civilized people in the same way as sexual matters-with the same inconsistency, prudishness and hypocrisy. The analyst is therefore determined from the first not to fall in with this attitude, but, in his dealings with his patients, to treat of money matters with the same matter-of­ course frankness to which he wishes to educate them in things relating to sexual life. He shows them that he himself has cast off false shame on these topics, by voluntarily telling them the price at which he values his time. Ordinary good sense cautions him, furthermore, not to allow large sums of money to accumu­ late, but to ask for payment at fairly short regular intervals­ monthly, perhaps. (It is a familiar fact that the value of the treatment is not enhanced in the patiet1t's eyes if a very low fee is asked.) This is, of course, not the usual practice of nerve specialists or other physicians in our European society. But the psycho-analyst may put himself in the position of a surgeon, who is frank and expensive because he has at his disposal methods of treatment which can be of use. It seems to me more respectable and ethically less objectionable to acknowledge one's actual claims and needs rather than, as is still the practice among physicians, to act the part of the disinterested philan­ thropist-a position which one is not, in fact, able to fill, with



the result that one is secretly aggrieved, or complains aloud, at the lack of consideration and the desire for exploitation evinced by one's patients. In fucing his fee the analyst must also allow for the fact that, hard as he may work, he can never earn as much as other medical specialists. For the same reason he should also refrain from giving treat­ ment free, and make no exceptions to this in favour of his colleagues or their families. This last recommendation will seem to offend against professional amenities. It must be remembered, however, that a gratuitous treatment means much more to a psycho-analyst than to any other medical man; it means the sacrifice of a considerable portion-an eighth or a seventh part, perhaps-of the working time available to him for earning his living, over a period of many months. A second free treatment carried on at the same time would already deprive him of a quarter or a third of his earning capacity, and this would be comparable to the damage inflicted by a severe accident. The question then arises whether the advantage gained by the patient would not to some extent counterbalance the sacrifice made by the physician. I may venture to form a judgement about this, since for ten years or so I set aside one hour a day, and sometimes two, for gratuitous treatments, because I wanted, in order to find my way about in the neuroses, to work in the face of as little resistance as possible. The advantages I sought by this means were not forthcoming. Free treatment enormously increases some of a neurotic's resistances-in young women, for instance, the temptation which is inherent in their transference-relation, and in young men, their opposition to an obligation to feel grateful, an opposition which arises from their father-complex and which presents one of the most troublesome hindrances to the accept­ ance of medical help. The absence of the regulating effect offered by the payment of a fee to the doctor makes itself very painfully felt; the whole relationship is removed from the real world, and the patient is deprived of a strong motive for endeavouring to bring the treatment to an end. One may be very far from the ascetic view of money as a curse and yet regret that analytic therapy is almost inaccessible to poor people, both for · external and internal reasons. Little can be done to remedy this. Perhaps there is truth in the wide­ spread belief that those who are forced by necessity to a life of



hard toil are less easily overtaken by neurosis. But on the other hand experience shows without a doubt that when once a poor man has produced a neurosis it is only with difficulty that he lets it be taken from him. It renders him too good a service in the struggle for existence; the secondary gain from illness1 which it brings him is much too important. He now claims by right of his neurosis the pity which the world has refused to his material distress, and he can now absolve himself from the obligation of combating his poverty by working. Anyone there­ fore who tries to deal with the neurosis of a poor person by psychotherapy usually discovers that what is here required of him is a practical therapy of a very different kind-the kind which, according to our local tradition, used to be dispensed by the Emperor Joseph II. Naturally, one does occasionally come across deserving people who are helpless from no fault of their own, in whom unpaid treatment does not meet with any of the obstacles that I have mentioned and in whom it leads to excellent results. As far as the middle classes are concerned, the expense involved in psycho-analysis is excessive only in appearance. Quite apart from the fact that no comparison is possible between restored health and efficiency on the one hand and a moderate financial outlay on the other, when we add up the unceasing costs of nursing-homes and medical treatment and contrast them with the increase of efficiency and earning capacity which results from a successfully completed analysis, we are entitled to say that the patients have made a good bargain. Nothing in life is so expensive as illness-and stupidity. Before I wind up these remarks on beginning analytic treat­ ment, I must say a word about a certain ceremonial which concerns the position in which the treatment is carried out. I hold to the plan of getting the patient to lie on a sofa while I sit behind him out of his sight. This arrangement has a historical basis; it is the remnant of the hypnotic method out of which psycho-analysis was evolved. But it deserves to be maintained 1 [The idea of a 'secondary gain from illness' occurs in Section B of the paper on hysterical attacks (1909a), though the actual phrase seems to be used for the first time here. For a fuller discussion see a footnote added by Freud in 1923 to the 'Dora' case history (1905e), Standard Ed., 7, 43.]



for many reasons. The first is a personal motive, but one which others may share with me. I cannot put up with being stared at by other people for eight hours a day (or more). Since, while I am listening to the patient, I, too, give myself over to the current of my unconscious thoughts, I do not wish my expressions of face to give the patient material for interpretations or to in­ fluence him in what he tells me. The patient usually regards being made to adopt this position as a hardship and rebels against it, especially if the instinct for looking (scopophilia) plays an important part in his neurosis. I insist on this pro­ cedure, however, for its purpose and result are to prevent the transference from mingling with the patient's associations im­ perceptibly, to isolate the transference and to allow it to come forward in due course sharply defined as a resistance. I know that many analysts work in a different way, but I do not know whether this deviation is due more to a craving for doing things differently or to some advantage which they find they gain by it. [See also below, p. 139.] The conditions of treatment having been regulated in this manner, the question arises at what point and with what material is the treatment to begin? What the material is with which one starts the treatment is on the whole a matter of indifference-whether it is the patient's life-history or the history of his illness or his recollec­ tions of childhood. But in any case the patient must be left to do the talking and must be free to choose at what point he shall begin. We therefore say to him: 'Before I can say anything to you I must know a great deal about you; please tell me what you know about yourself.' The only exception to this is in regard to the fundamental rule of psycho-analytic technique 1 which the patient has to observe. This must be imparted to him at the very beginning: •o�e more thing before you start. What you tell me must differ in one respect from an ordinary conversation. Ordinarily you rightly try to keep a connecting thread running through your remarks and you exclude any intrusive ideas that may occur to you and any side-issues, so as not to wander too far from the point. But in this case you must proceed differently. You will 1

[See footnote 2, p. 107.]



notice that as you relate things various thoughts will occur to you which you would like to put aside on the ground of cer­ tain criticisms and objections. You will be tempted to say to yourself that this or that is irrelevant here, or is quite un­ important, or nonsensical, so that there is no need to say it. You must never give in to these criticisms, but must say it in spite of them-indeed, you must say it precisely because you feel an aversion to doing so. Later on you will find out and learn to understand the reason for this injunction, which is really the only one you have to follow. So say whatever goes through your mind. Act as though, for instance, you were a traveller sitting next to the window of a railway carriage and describing to someone inside the carriage the changing views which you see outside. Finally, never forget that you have promised to be absolutely honest, and never leave anything out because, for so�e reason or other, it is unpleasant to tell it.' 1 1 Much might be said about our experiences with the fundamental rule of psycho-analysis. One occasionally comes across people who behave as if they had made this rule for themselves. Others offend against it from the very beginning. It is indispensable, and also advan­ tageous, to lay down the rule in the first stages of the treatment. Later, under the dominance of the resistances, obedience to it weakens, and there comes a time in every analysis when the patient disregards it. We must remember from our own self-analysis how irresistible the tempta­ tion is to yield to these pretexts put forward by critical judgement for rejecting certain ideas. How small is the effect of such agreements as one makes with the patient in laying down the fundamental rule is regularly demonstrated when something intimate about a third person comes up in his mind for the first time. He knows that he is supposed to say every­ thing, but he turns discretion about other people into a new obstacle. 'Must I really say everything? I thought that only applied to things that concern myself.' It is naturally impossible to carry out analysis if the patient's relations with other people and his thoughts about them are excluded. Pour faire une omelette ilfaut casser des oeufs. An honourable man readily forgets such of the private affairs of strangers as do not seem to him important to know. Nor can an exception be made in the case of names. Otherwise the patient's narratives became a little shadowy, like the scenes in Goethe's play Die natilrliche Tochter [The Natural Daughter], and do not lodge in the doctor's memory. Moreover, the names that are withheld screen the approach to all sorts of important connections. But one may perhaps allow names to be left on one side until the patient has become more familiar with the doctor and the procedure of analysis. It is very remarkable how the whole task becomes impossible if a reserva­ tion is allowed at any single place. But we have only to reflect what would happen if the right of asylum existed at any one point in a town;



Patients who date their illness from a particular moment usually concentrate upon its precipitating cause. Others, who themselves recognize the connection between their neurosis and their childhood, often begin with an account of their whole life-history. A systematic narrative should never be expected and nothing should be done to encourage it. Every detail of the story will have to be told afresh later on, and it is only with these repetitions that additional. material will appear which will supply the important connections that are unknown to the patient. There are patients who from the very first hours carefully prepare what they are going to communicate, ostensibly so as to be sure of making better use of the time devoted to the treatment. What is thus disguising itself as eagerness is resist­ ance. Any preparation of this sort should be disrecommended, for it is only employed to guard against unwelcome thoughts cropping up. 1 However genuinely the patient may believe in his excellent intentions, the resistance will play its part in this deliberate method of preparation and will see to it that the most valuable material escapes communication. One will soon find that the patient devises yet other means by which what is required may be withheld from the treatment. He may talk over the treatment every day with some intimate friend, and bring into this discussion all the thoughts which should come forward in the presence of the doctor. The treatment thus has a leak which lets through precisely what is most valuable. When this happens, the patient must, without much delay, be advised to treat his analysis as a matter between himself and his doctor and to exclude everyone else from sharing in the knowledge of it, no matter how close to him they may be, or how in­ quisitive. In later stages of the treatment the patient is usually not subjected to temptations of this sort. Certain patients want their treatment to be kept secret, often because they have kept their neurosis secret; and I put no

how long would it be before all the riff-raff of the town had collected there? I once treated a high official who was bound by his oath of office not to communicate certain things because they were state secrets, and the analysis came to grief as a consequence of this restriction. Psycho­ analytic treatment must have no regard for any consideration, because the neurosis and its resistances are themselves without any such regard. 1 Exceptions may be made only for such data as family relationships, times and places of residence, operations, and so on.



obstacle in their way. That in consequence the world hears nothing of some of the most successful cures is, of course, a consideration that cannot be taken into account. It is obvious that a patient's decision in favour of secrecy already reveals a feature of his secret history. In advising the patient at the beginning of the treatment to tell as few people as possible about it, we also protect him to some extent from the many hostile influences that will seek to entice him away from analysis. Such influences may be very mischievous at the outset of the treatment; later, they are usually immaterial, or even useful in bringing to the fore resistances which are trying to conceal themselves. If during the course of the analysis the patient should tem­ porarily need some other medical or specialist treatment, it is far wiser to call in a non-analytic colleague than to give this other treatment oneself.1 Combined treatments for neurotic disorders which have a powerful organic basis are nearly always impracticable. The patients withdraw their interest from analysis as soon as they are shown more than one path that promises to lead them to health. The best plan is to postpone the organic treatment until the psychical treatment is finished; if the former were tried first it would in most cases meet with no success. To return to the beginning of the treatment. Patients are occasionally met with who start the treatment by assuring us that they cannot think of anything to say, although the whole field of their life-history and the story of their illness is open to them to choose from. 2 Their request that we should tell, them what to talk about must not be granted on this first occasion any more than on any later one. We must bear in mind what is involved here. A strong resistance has come to the front in order to defend the neurosis; we must take up the challenge then and there and come to grips with it. Energetic and repeated assurances to the patient that it is impossible for no ideas at all to occur to him at the beginning, and that what is in 1 [Compare this with Freud's own experiences in his very earliest cases as described in Studies on Hystma (1895d), e.g. Standard Ed., 2, 50 and 138.] 1 [This technical problem is already discussed by Freud in the last pages of his contribution to Studies on Hysteria, ibid., 301-4.]


138 FURTIIER RECOMMENDATIONS ON TECHNIQUE question is a resistance against the analysis, soon oblige him to make the expected admissions or to uncover a first piece of his complexes. It is a bad sign ifhe has to confess that while he was listening to the fundamental rule of analysis he made a mental reservation that he would nevertheless keep this or that to himself; it is not so serious if all he has to tell us is how mistrust­ ful he is of analysis or the horrifying things he has heard about it. If he denies these and similar possibilities when they are put before him, he can be driven by our insistence to acknowledge that he has nevertheless overlooked certain thoughts which were occupying his mind. He had thought of the treatment itself, though nothing definite about it, or he had been occupied with the picture of the room in which he was, or he could not help thinking of the objects in the consulting room and of the fact that he was lying here on a sofa-all of which he has replaced by the word 'nothing'. These indications are intel­ ligible enough: everything connected with the present situation represents a transference to the doctor, which proves suitable to serve as a first resistance. 1 We are thus obliged to begin by uncovering this transference; and a path from it will give rapid access to the patient's pathogenic material. Women who are prepared by events in their past history to be subjected to sexual aggression and men with over-strong repressed homosexuality are the most apt thus to withhold the ideas that occur to them at the outset of their analysis. The patient's first symptoms or chance actions, like his first resistance, may possess a special interest and may betray a complex which governs his neurosis. A clever young philosopher with exquisite aesthetic sensibilities will oosten to put the creases of his trousers straight before lying down for his first hour; he is revealing himself as a former coprophilic of the highest refinement-which was to be expected from the later aesthete. A young girl will at the same juncture hurriedly pull the hem of her skirt over her exposed ankles; in doing this she is giving away the gist of what her analysis will uncover later: her narcissistic pride in her physical beauty and her inclinations to exhibitionism. 1 [Cf. 'The Dynamics ofTransference', p.101 f. above.-ln a footnote to Chapter X of Group Psychology (1921c), Standard Ed., 18, 126, Freud draws attention to the similarity between this situation and certain hypnotic techniques.]



A particularly large number of patients object to being asked to lie down, while the doctor sits out of sight behind them.1 They ask to be allowed to go through the treatment in some other position, for the most part because they are anxious not to be deprived of a view of the doctor. Permission is regularly refused, but one cannot prevent them from contriving to say a few sentences before the beginning of the actual 'session' or after one has signified that it is finished and they have got up from the sofa. In this way they divide the treatment in their own view into an official portion, in which they mostly behave in a very inhibited manner, and an informal 'friendly' portion, in which they speak really freely and say all sorts of things which they themselves do not regard as being part of the treatment. The doctor does not accept this division for long. He takes note of what is said before or after the session and he brings it forward at the first opportunity, thus pulling down the parti­ tion which the patient has tried to erect. This partition, once again, will have been put together from the material of a transference-resistance.

So long as the patient's communications and ideas run on without al!)' obstruction, the theme of transference should he left untouched. One must

wait until the transference, which is the most delicate of all procedures, has become a resistance.

The next question with which we are faced raises a matter of principle. It is this: When are we to begin making our com­ munications to the patient? When is the moment for disclosing to him the hidden meaning of the ideas that occur to him, and for initiating him into the postulates and technical procedures of analysis? The answer to this can only be: Not until an effective trans­ ference has been established in the patient, a proper rapport with him. It remains the first aim of the treatment to attach him to it and to the person of the doctor. To ensure this, nothing need be done but to give him time. If one exhibits a serious interest in him, carefully clears away the resistances that crop up at the beginning and avoids making certain mistakes, he will of himself form such an attachment and link the doctor up with one ofthe imagos ofthe people by whom he was accustomed 1 [Cf. above, p. 133 f.]



to be treated with affection. It is certainly possible to forfeit this first success if from the start one takes up any stand­ point other than one of sympathetic understanding, such as a moralizing one, or if one behaves like a representative or advocate of some contending party-of the other member of a married couple, for instance.1

This answer of course involves a condemnation of any line of behaviour which would lead us to give the patient a transla­ tion of his symptoms as soon as we have guessed it ourselves, or would even lead us to regard it as a special triumph to fling these 'solutions' in his face at the first interview. It is not difficult for a skilled analyst to read the patient's secret wishes plainly between the lines of his complaints and the story of his illness; but what a measure of self-complacency and thought­ lessness must be possessed by anyone who can, on the shortest acquaintance, inform a stranger who is entirely ignorant of all the tenets of analysis that he is attached to his mother by incestuous ties, that he harbours wishes for the death of his wife whom he appears to love, that he conceals an intention of betraying his superior, and so on! 3 I have heard that there are analysts who plume themselves upon these kinds of lightning diagnoses and 'express' treatments, but I must warn everyone against following such examples. Behaviour of this sort will completely discredit oneself and the treatment in the patient's eyes and will arouse the most violent opposition in him, whether one's guess has been true or not; indeed, the truer the guess the more violent will be the resistance. As a rule the therapeutic effect will be nil; but the deterring of the patient from analysis will be final. Even in the later stages of analysis one must be careful not to give a patient the solution of a symptom or the translation of a wish until he is already so close to it that he has only one short step more to make in order to get hold of the explanation for himself. In former years I often had occasion to find that the premature communication of a solution brought the treatment to an untimely end, on account not only of the 1 [In the first edition only, the latter part of this sentence read:' ••• if one behaves like a representative or advocate of some contending party with whom the patient is engaged in a conflict-of his parents, for instance, or the other member of a married couple.'] 1 [Cf. the detailed example of this which Freud had already given in his paper on ' "Wild" Psycho-Analysis' (1910k).]



resistances which it thus suddenly awakened but also of the relief which the solution brought with it. But at this point an objection will be raised. Is it, then, our task to lengthen the treatment and not, rather, to bring it to an end as rapidly as possible? Are not the patient's ailments due to his lack of knowledge and understanding and is it not a duty to enlighten him as soon as possible-that is, as soon as the doctor himself knows the explanations? The answer to this question calls for a short digression on the meaning of knowledge and the mechanism of cure in analysis. It is true that in the earliest days of analytic technique we took an intellectualist view of the situation. We set a high value on .the patient's knowledge of what he had forgotten, and in this we made hardly any distinction between our knowledge of it and his. We thought it a special piece of good luck if we were able to obtain information about the forgotten childhood trauma from other sources-for instance, from parents or nurses or the seducer himself-as in some cases it was possible to do; and we hastened to convey the information and the proofs of its correctness to the patient, in the certain expectation of thus bringing the neurosis and the treatment to a rapid end. It was a severe disappointment when the expected success was not forthcoming. How could it be that the patient, who now knew about his traumatic experience, nevertheless still behaved as if he knew no more about it than before? Indeed, telling and describing his repressed trauma to him did not even result in any recollection of it coming into his mind. In one particular case the mother of a hysterical girl had confided to me the homosexual experience which had greatly contributed to the fixation of the girl's attacks. The mother had herself surprised the scene; but the patient had completely forgotten it, though it had occurred when she was already approaching puberty. I was now able to make a most instructive observation. Every time I repeated her mother's story to the girl she reacted with a hysterical attack, and after this she forgot the story once more. There is no doubt that the patient was expressing a violent resistance against the knowledge that was being forced upon her •. Finally she simulated feeble-mindedness and a complete loss of memory in order to protect herselfagainst



what I had told her. After this, there was no choice but to cease attributing to the fact of knowing, in itself, the importance that had previously been given to it and to place the emphasis on the resistances which had in the past brought' about the state of not knowing and which were still ready to defend that state. Conscious knowledge, even if it was not subsequently driven out again, was powerless against those resistances. 1 The strange behaviour of patients, in being able to combine a conscious knowing with not knowing, remains inexplicable by what is called normal psychology. But to psycho-analysis, which recognizes the existence of the unconscious, it presents no difficulty. The phenomenon we have described, moreover, pro­ vides some of the best support for a view which approaches mental processes from the angle of topographical differentiation. The patients now know of the repressed experience in their conscious thought, but this thought lacks any connection with the place where the repressed recollection is in some way or other contained. No change is possible until the conscious thought-process has penetrated to that place and has overcome the resistances of repression there. It is just as though a decree were promulgated by the Ministry of Justice to the effect that juvenile delinquencies should be dealt with in a certain lenient manner. As long as this decree has not come to the knowledge of the local magistrates, or in the event of their not intending to obey it but preferring to administer justice by their own lights, no change can occur in the treatment of particular youthful delinquents. For the sake of complete accuracy, how­ ever, it should be added that the communication of repressed material to the patient's consciousness is nevertheless not with­ out effect. It does not produce the hoped-for result of putting an end to the symptoms; but it has other consequences. At first it arouses resistances, but then, when these }J.ave been overcome, it sets up a process of thought in the course of which the expected influencing of the unconscious recollection eventually takes place. 11 It is now time for us to take a survey of the play of forces 1 [The very different views on this subject held by Freud during the Breuer period are clearly shown in the account he gives of a similar case in Studies on Hysteria (1895d), Standard Ed., 2, 274-5.] 1 [The topographical picture of the distinction between unconsciow



which is set in motion by the treatment. The primary motive force in the therapy is the patient's suffering and the wish to be cured that arises from it. The strength of this motive force is subtracted from by various factors-which are not discovered till the analysis is in progress-above all, by what we have called the 'secondary gain from illness'; 1 but it must be main­ tained till the end of the treatment. Every improvement effects a diminution of it. By itself, however, this motive force is not sufficient to get rid of the illness. Two things are lacking in it for this: it does not know what paths to follow to reach this end; and it does not possess the necessary quota of energy with which to oppose the resistances. The analytic treatment helps to remedy both these deficiencies. It supplies the amounts of energy that are needed for overcoming the resistances by making mobile the energies which lie ready for the trans­ ference; and, by giving the patient information at the right time, it shows him the paths along which he should direct those energies. Often enough the transference is able to remove the symptoms of the disease by itself, but only for a while-only for as long as it itself lasts. In this case the treatment is a treatment by suggestion, and not a psycho-analysis at all. It only deserves the latter name if the intensity of the transference has been utilized for the overcoming of resistances. Only then has being ill become impossible, even when the transference has once more been dissolved, which is its destined end. In the course of the treatment yet another helpful factor is aroused. This is the patient's intellectual interest and under­ standing. But this alone hardly comes into consideration in com­ parison with the other forces that are engaged in the struggle; for it is always in danger of losing its value, as a result of the clouding of judgement that arises from the resistances. Thus the new sources of strength for which the patient is indebted to his analyst are reducible to transference and instruction and conscious ideas had been discussed by Freud already in the case history of 'Little Hans' (1909b), Standard Ed., 10, 120-1, and he had referred to it again by implication in his paper on 'wild' analysis (19 IOk), Standard Ed., 11, 225. The difficulties and insufficiencies of tlie picture were pointed out some two years after tlie publication of tlie present work in Sections II and VII of the metapsychological paper on 'The Unconscious' (l915e), where a more deep-going account of tlie distinc­ tion was propowided.) 1 [See footnote above, p. 133.]



(through the communications made to him). The patient, how­ ever, only makes use of the instruction in so far as he is induced to do so by the transference; and it is for this reason that our first communication should be withheld until a strong trans­ ference has been established. And this, we may add, holds good of every subsequent communication. In each case we must wait until the disturbance of the transference by the successive emergence of transference-resistances has been removed. 1 1 [The whole question of the mechanism of psycho-analytic therapy and in particular of the transference was discussed at greater length in Lectures XX.VII and XX.VIII of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17).­ Freud makes some interesting comments on the difficulty of carrying O\lt the 'fundamental rule of psycho-analysis' (p. 134 ff. above) in Chapter VI of Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiev, (1926d).]








1914 1918 1924 1925 1931 1946


Int. Psychoanal., 2 (6), 485-91. S.K.S.N., 4, 441-52. (1922, 2nd ed.) Technik und Metapsychol., 109-19. G.S., 6, 109-19. Neurosenlehre und Technik, 385-96. G.W., 10, 126-36.

'Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psycho­ Analysis: Recollection, Repetition, and Working-Through' 1924 C.P., 2, 366-76. (Tr. Joan Riviere.) The present translation, with a changed title, is a modified version of the one published in 1924. At its original appearance ( which was at the end of 1914) the title of this paper ran: 'Weitere Ratschlage zur Technik der Psychoanalyse (II): Erinnern, Wiederholen und Durchar­ beiten.' The title of the English translation of 1924, quoted above, is a rendering of this. From 1924 onwards the German editions adopted the shorter title. This paper is noteworthy, apart from its technical interest, for containing the first appearance of the concepts of the 'com­ pulsion to repeat' (p. 150) and of 'working-through' (p. 155).


IT seems to me not unnecessary to keep on reminding students of the far-reaching changes which psycho-analytic technique has undergone since its first beginnings. In its first phase-that ofBreuer's catharsis-it consisted in bringing directly into focus the moment at which the symptom was formed, and in per­ sistently endeavouring to reproduce the mental processes in­ volved in that situation, in order to direct their discharge along the path of conscious activity. Remembering and abreacting, with the help of the hypnotic state, were what was at that time aimed at. Next, when hypnosis had been given up, the task became one of discovering from the patient's free associations what he failed to remember. The resistance was to be circum­ vented by the work of interpretation and by making its results known to t he patient. The situations which had given rise to the formation of the symptom and the other situations which lay behind the moment at which the illness broke out retained their place as the focus of interest; but the element of abreaction receded into the background and seemed to be replaced by the expenditure of work which the patient had to :rpake in being obliged to overcome his criticism of his free associations, in accordance with the fundamental rule of psycho-analysis. Finally, there was evolved the consistent technique used to­ day, in which the analyst gives up the attempt to bring a particular moment or problem into focus. He contents himself with studying whatever is present for the time being on the surface of the patient's mind, and he employs the art of inter­ pretation mainly for the purpose of recognizing the resistances which appear there, and making them conscious to the patient. From this there results a new sort of division of labour: the doctor uncovers the resistances which are unknown to the patient; when these have been got the better of, the patient often relates the forgotten situations and connections without any difficulty. The aim of these different techniques has, of course, 147

148 FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS ON TECHNIQUE remained the same. Descriptively speaking, it is to fill in gaps in memory; dynamically speaking, it is to overcome resistances due to repression. We must still be grateful to the old hypnotic technique for having brought before us single psychical processes of analysis in an isolated or schematic form. Only this could have given us the courage ourselves to create more complicated situations in the analytic treatment and to keep them clear before us. In these hypnotic treatments the process of remembering took a very simple form. The patient put himself back in to an earlier situation, which he seemed never to confuse with the present one, and gave an account of the mental processes belonging to it, in so far as they had remained normal; he then added to this whatever was able to emerge as a result of transforming the processes that had at the time been uncon­ scious into conscious ones. At this point I will interpolate a few remarks which every analyst has found confirmed in his observations. 1 Forgetting impressions, scenes or experiences nearly always reduces itself to shutting them off. When the patient talks about these 'forgotten' things he seldom fails to add: 'As a matter of fact I've always known it; only I've never thought of it.' He often ex­ presses disappointment at the fact that not enough things come into his head that he can call 'forgotten'-that he has never thought of since they happened. Nevertheless, even this desire is fulfilled, especially in the case of conversion hysterias. 'For­ getting' becomes still further restricted when we assess at their true value the screen memories which are so generally present. In some cases I have had an impression that the familiar child­ hood amnesia, which is theoretically so important to us, is com­ pletely counterbalanced by screen memories. Not only some but all of what is essential from childhood has been retained in these memories. It is simply a question of knowing how to extract it out of them by analysis. They represent the forgotten years of childhood as adequately as the manifest content of a dream represents the dream-thoughts. The other group of psychical processes-phantasies, pro­ cesses of referep.ce, emotional impulses, thought-connections1 [In the first edition only, this and the following three paragraphs (which make up the 'interpolation') were printed in smaller type.]



which, as purely internal acts, can be contrasted with impres­ sions and experiences, must, in their relation to forgetting and remembering, be considered separately. In these processes it particularly often happens that something is 'remembered' which could never have been 'forgotten' because it was never at any time noticed-was never conscious. As regards the course taken by psychical events it seems to make no difference what­ ever whether such a 'thought-connection' was conscious and then forgotten or whether it never managed to become con­ scious at all. The conviction which the patient obtains in the course of his analysis is quite independent of this kind of memory. In the many different forms of obsessional neurosis in par­ ticular, forgetting is mostly restricted to dissolving thought­ connections, failing to draw the right conclusions and isolating memories. There is one special class of experiences of the utmost import­ ance for which no memory can as a rule be recovered. These are experiences which occurred in very early childhood and were not understood at the time but which were subsequently under­ stood and interpreted. One gains a knowledge of them through dreams and one is obliged to believe in them on the most com­ pelling evidence provided by the fabric of the neurosis. More­ over, we can ascertain for ourselves that the patient, after his resistances have been overcome, no longer invokes the absence of any memory of them ( any sense of familiarity with them) as a ground for refusing to accept them. This matter, however, calls for so much critical caution and introduces so much that is novel and startling that I shall reserve it for a separate discus­ sion in connection with suitable material.1 Under the new technique very little, and often nothing, is left of this delightfully smooth course of events. 2 There are some 1 [This is, of course, a reference to the 'Wolf Man' and his dream at the age of four. Freud had only recently completed his analysis, and he was probably engaged in writing the case history more or less simultane­ ously with the present paper, though it was only published some four years later (1918b). Before that time, however, Freud entered into a discussion of this special class of childhood memories in the later part of Lecture XXIII of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] 1 [Freud picks up his argument from where he left it at the beginning of the 'interpolation' on the previous page.]



cases which behave like those under the hypnotic technique up to a point and only later cease to do so; but others behave differently from the beginning. If we confine ourselves to this second type in order to bring out the difference, we may say that the patient does not remember anything of what he has forgotten and repressed, but acts it out. 1 He reproduces it not as a memory but as an action; he repeats it, without, of course, knowing that he is repeating it. For instance, the patient does not say that he remembers that he used to be defiant and critical towards his parents' authority; instead, he behaves in that way to the doctor. He does not remember how he came to a helpless and hopeless deadlock in his infantile sexual researches; but he produces a mass of con­ fused dreams and associations, complains that he cannot suc­ ceed in anything and asserts that he is fated never to carry through what he undertakes. He does not remember having been intensely ashamed of certain sexual activities and afraid of their being found out; but he makes it clear that he is ashamed of the treatment on which he is now embarked and tries to keep it secret from everybody. And so on. Above all, the patient will begin his treatment with a repeti­ tion of this kind. When one has announced the fundamental rule of psycho-analysis to a patient with an eventful life-history and a long story of illness and has then asked him to say what occurs to his mind, one expects him to pour out a flood of information; but often the first thing that happens is that he has nothing to say. He is silent and declares that nothing occurs to him. This, of course, is merely a repetition of a homosexual attitude which comes to the fore as a resistance against remem­ bering anything [p. 138]. As long as the patient is in the treat­ ment he cannot escape from this compulsion to repeat; 2 and in the end we understand that this is his way of remembering. 1 [This had been made plain by Freud very much earlier, in his postscript to his analysis of 'Dora' (1905e), Standard Ed., 7, 119, where the topic of transference is under discussion.] 9 [This seems to be the first appearance of the idea, which, in a much more generalized form, was to play such an important part in Freud's later theory of the instincts. In its present clinical application, it re­ appears in the paper on 'The Uncanny' (1919h), Standard Ed., 17,238, and is used as part of the evidence in support of the general thesis in Chapter III of Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g), Standard Ed., 18, 18 ff., where these is a reference back to the present paper.]



What interests us most of all is naturally the relation of this compulsion to repeat to the transference and to resistance. We soon perceive that the transference is itself only a piece of repetition, and that the repetition is a transference of the for­ gotten past not only on to the doctor but also on to all the other aspects of the current situation. We must be prepared to find, therefore, that the patient yields to the compulsion to repeat, which now replaces the impulsion to remember, not only in his personal attitude to his doctor but also in every other activity and relationship which may occupy his life at the time-if, for instance, he falls in love or undertakes a task or starts an enter­ prise during the treatment. The part played by resistance, too, is easily recognized. The greater the resistance, the more exten­ sively will acting out (repetition) replace remembering. For the ideal remembering of what has been forgotten which occurs in hypnosis corresponds to a state in which resistance has been put completely on one side. If the patient starts his treatment under the auspices of a mild and unpronounced positive transference it makes it possible at first for him to unearth his memories just as he would under hypnosis, and during this time his patho­ logical symptoms themselves are quiescent. But if, as the analysis proceeds, the transference becomes hostile or unduly intense and therefore in need of repression, remembering at once gives way to acting out. From then onwards the resistances determine the sequence of the material which is to be repeated. The patient brings out of the armoury of the past the weapons with which he defends himself against the progress of the treatment­ weapons which we must wrest from him one by one. We have learnt that the patient repeats instead of remember­ ing, and repeats under the conditions of resistance. We may now ask what it is that he in fact repeats or acts out. The answer is that he repeats everything that has already made its way from the sources of the repressed into his manifest personality-his inhibitions and unserviceable attitudes and his pathological character-traits. He also repeats all his symptoms in the course of the treatment. And now we can see that in drawing attention to the compulsion to repeat we have acquired no new fact but only a more comprehensive view. We have only made it clear to ourselves that the patient's state of being ill cannot cease with the beginning of his analysis, and that we must treat his illness, not as an event of the past, but as a present-day force. This state



of illness is brought, piece by piece, within the field and range of operation of the treatment, and while the patient experiences it as something real and contemporary, we have to do our therapeutic work on it, which consists in a large measure in tracing it back to the past. Remembering, as it was induced in hypnosis, could not but give the impression of an experiment carried out in the labora.,. tory. Repeating, as it is induced in analytic treatment according to the newer technique, on the other hand, implies conjuring up a piece of real life; and for that reason it cannot always be harm­ less and unobjectionable. This consideration opens up the whole problem of what is so often unavoidable-'deterioration during treatment'. First and foremost, the initiation of the treatment in itself brings about a change in the patient's conscious attitude to his illness. He has usually been content with lamenting it, despising it as nonsensical and under-estimating its importance; for the rest, he has extended to its manifestations the ostrich-like policy of repression which he adopted towards its origins. Thus it can happen that he does not properly know under what conditions his phobia breaks out or does not listen to the precise wording of his obsessional ideas or does not grasp the actual purpose of his obsessional impulse.1 The treatment, of course, is not helped by this. He must find the courage to direct his attention to the phenomena of his illness. His illness itself must no longer seem to him contemptible, but must become an enemy worthy of his mettle, a piece of his personality, which has solid ground for its existence and out of which things of value for his future life have to be derived. The way is thus paved from the beginning for a reconciliation with the repressed material which is coming to expression in his symptoms, while at the same time place is found for a certain tolerance for the state of being ill. If this new attitude towards the illness intensifies the conflicts and brings to the fore symptoms which till then had been indistinct, one can easily console the patient by pointing out that these are only necessary and temporary aggravations and that one cannot overcome an enemy who is absent or not within range. The resistance, however, may exploit the situation for its own ends and abuse the licence to be ill. It seems to say: 'See what happens 1 [See examples of this in the case histories of 'Little Hans' (1909b), Standard Ed., 10, 124, and of the 'Rat Man' (1909d), ibid., 223.]



if I really give way to such things. Was I not right to consign them to repression?' Young and childish people in particular are inclined to make the necessity imposed by the treatment for paying attention to their illness a welcome excuse for luxuriating in their symptoms. Further dangers arise from the fact that in the course of the treatment new and deeper-lying instinctual impulses, which had not hitherto made themselves felt, may come to be 'repeated'. Finally, it is possible that the patient's actions outside the trans­ ference may do him temporary harm in his ordinary life, or even have been so chosen as permanently to invalidate his pros­ pects of recovery. The tactics to be adopted by the physician in this situation are easily justified. For him, remembering in the old manner­ reproduction in the psychical field-is the aim to which he adheres, even though he knows that such an aim cannot be achieved in the new technique. He is prepared for a perpetual struggle with his patient to keep in the psychical sphere all the impulses which the patient would like to direct into the motor sphere; and he celebrates it as a triumph for the treatment if he can bring it about that something that the patient wishes to dis­ charge in action is disposed of through the work of remembering. If the attachment through transference has grown into some­ thing at all serviceable, the treatment is able to prevent the patient from executing any of the more important repetitive actions and to utilize his intention to do so in statu nascendi as material for the therapeutic work. One best protects the patient from injuries brought about through carrying out one of his impulses by making him promise not to take any important decisions affecting his life during the time of his treatment-for instance, not to choose any profession or definitive love-object -but to postpone all such plans until after his recovery. At the same time one willingly leaves untouched as much of the patient's personal freedom as is compatible with these restrictions, nor does one hinder him from carrying out unim­ portant intentions, even if they are foolish; one does not forget that it is in fact only through his own experience and mishaps that a person learns sense. There are also people whom one can­ not restrain from plunging into some quite undesirable project during the treatment and who only afterwards become ready for, and accessible to, analysis. Occasionally, too, it is bound to S.F. XII-L

154 FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS ON TECHNIQUE happen that the untamed instincts assert themselves before there is time to put the reins of the transference on them, or that the bonds which attach the patient to the treatment are broken by him in a repetitive action. As an extreme example of this, I may cite the case of an elderly lady who had repeatedly fled from her house and her husband in a twilight state and gone no one knew where, without ever having become conscious of her motive for decamping in this way. She came to treatment with a marked affectionate transference which grew in intensity with uncanny rapidity in the first few days; by the end of the week she had decamped from me, too, before I had had time to say anything to her which might have prevented this repetition. The main instrument, however, for curbing the patient's com­ pulsion to repeat and for turning it into a motive for remember­ ing lies in the handling of the transference. We render the com­ pulsion harmless, and indeed useful, by giving it the right to assert itself in a definite field. We admit it into the transference as a playground in which it is allowed to expand in almost com­ plete freedom and in which it is expected to display to us every­ thing in the way of pathogenic instincts that is hidden in the patient's mind. Provided only that the patient shows compliance enough to respect the necessary conditions of the analysis, we regularly succeed in giving all the symptoms of the illness a new transference meaning 1 and in replacing his ordinary neurosis by a 'transference-neurosis' 2 of which he can be cured by the therapeutic work. The transference thus creates an intermediate region between illness and real life through which the transition from the one to the other is made. The new condition has taken over all the features of the illness; but it represents an artificial illness which is at every point accessible to our intervention. It is a piece of real experience, but one which has been made pos­ sible by especially favourable conditions, and it is of a provi­ sional nature. From the repetitive reactions 3 which are exhibited in the transference we are led along the familiar paths to the 1 ['Obertragungsbedeutung.' In the editions before 1924 this read 'Obertragungsbedingung' ('transference-determinant').]

1 [The connection between this special use of the term and the usual one (to denote the hysterias and obsessional neurosis) is indicated in Lecture XXVII of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17).] 1 [In the first edition only, this read 'repetitive actions'.]



awakening of the memories, which appear without difficulty, as it were, after the resistance has been overcome. I might break off at this point but for the title of this paper, which obliges me to discuss a further point in analytic tech­ nique. The first step in overcoming the resistances is made, as we know, by the analyst's uncovering the resistance, which is never recognized by the patient, and acquainting him with it. Now it seems that beginners in analytic practice are inclined to look on this introductory step as constituting the whole of their work. I have often been asked to advise upon cases in which the doctor complained that he had pointed out his resistance to the patient and that nevertheless no change had set in; indeed, the resistance had become all the stronger, and the whole situation was more obscure than ever. The treatment seemed to make no headway. This gloomy foreboding always proved mistaken. The treatment was as a rule progressing most satisfactorily. The analyst had merely forgotten that giving the resistance a name could not result in its immediate cessation. One must allow the patient time to become more conversant with this resistance with which he has now become acquainted, 1 to work through it, to overcome it, by continuing, in defiance of it, the analytic work according to the fundamental rule of analysis. Only when the resistance is at its height can the analyst, working in com­ mon with his patient, discover the repressed instinctual impulses which are feeding the resistance; and it is this kind of experience which convinces the patient of the existence and power of such impulses. The doctor has nothing else to do than to wait and let things take their course, a course which cannot be avoided nor always hastened. If he holds fast to this conviction he will often be spared the illusion of having failed when in fact he is con­ ducting the treatment on the right lines. This working-through of the resistances may in practice turn out to be an arduous task for the subject of the analysis and a trial of patience for the analyst. Nevertheless it is a part of the work which effects the greatest changes in the patient and which distinguishes analytic treatment from any kind of treatment by 1 [' ••• sich in den ihm nun bekannten Widerstand zu vertiefen.' Thus in the first edition only. In all the later German editions 'nun bekannten' was altered to 'unbekannten'. This, however, seems to make less good sense: 'to become more conversant with the resistance that is unknown to him.']



suggestion. From a theoretical point of view one may correlate it with the 'abreacting' of the quotas of affect strangulated by repression-an abreaction without which hypnotic treatment remained ineffective.1 1 [The concept of'working-through', introduced in the present paper, is evidently related to the 'psychical inertia' which Freud discusses in several passages. Some of these are enumerated in an Editor's footnote to a paper on a case of paranoia (1915.D, Standard Ed., 14, 272. In Chapter XI, Section A (a) of Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxie!J (1926d), Freud attributes the necessity for 'working-through' to the resistance of the unconscious (or of the id), a subject to which he returns in Section VI of 'Analysis Terminable and Interminable' (1937c).]


(1915 [1914])


(a) 1915 1918 1924 1925 1931 1946


GERMAN EDITIONS: Int. Psychoanal., 3 (1), 1-11. S.K.S.N., 4, 453-69. (1922, 2nd ed.) Technik und Metapsychol., 120-35. G.S., 6, 120-35. Neurosenlehre und Technik, 385-96. G. W., 10, 306-21.

(b) ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 'Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psycho­ Analysis: Observations on Transference-Love' 1924 C.P., 2, 377-91. (Tr. Joan Riviere.) The present translation, with a changed title, is a modified version of the one published in 1924. When this paper was first published (early in 1915), its title ran: 'Weitere Ratschlage zur Technik der Psychoanalyse (III): Bemerkungen Uber die -Obertragungsliebe.' The title of the English translation of 1924, as given above, is a rendering of this. The German editions from 1924 onwards adopted the shorter title. Dr. Ernest Jones tells us (1955, 266) that Freud considered this the best of the present series of technical papers. A letter written by Freud to Ferenczi on December 13, 1931, in con­ nection with the technical innovations introduced by the latter, forms an interesting postscript to this paper. It was published by Dr.Jones towards the end of Chapter IV of his third volume of Freud's biography (1957, 174 ff.).



EVERY beginner in psycho-analysis probably feels alarmed at first at the difficulties in store for him when he comes to interpret the patient's associations and to deal with the repro­ duction of the repressed. When the time comes, however, he soon learns to look upon these difficulties as insignificant, and instead becomes convinced that the only really serious difficulties he has to meet lie in the management of the transference. Among the situations which arise in this connection I shall select one which is very sharply circumscribed; and I shall select it, partly because it occurs so often and is so important in its real aspects and partly because of its theoretical interest. What I have in mind is the case in which a woman patient shows by unmistakable indications, or openly declares, that she has fallen in love, as any other mortal woman might, with the doctor who is analysing her. This situation has its distressing and comical aspects, as well as its serious ones. It is also deter-­ mined by so many and such complicated factors, it is so unavoidable and so difficult to clear up, that a discussion of it to meet a vital need of analytic technique has long been overdue. But since we who laugh at other people's failings are not always free from them ourselves, we have not so far been precisely in a hurry to fulfil this task. We are constantly coming up against the obligation to professional discretion-a discre­ tion which cannot be dispensed with in real life, but which is of no service in our science. In so far as psycho-analytic publica­ tions are a part of real life, too, we have here an insoluble contradiction. I have recently disregarded this matter of discre­ tion at one point, 1 and shown how this same transference situation held back the 9-evelopment of psycho-analytic therapy during its first decade. 1 In the first section of my contribution to the history of the psycho­ analytic movement (1914d). [This refers to Breuer's difficulties over the transference in the case of Anna 0. (Standard Ed., 14, 12).]




To a well-educated layman (for that is what the ideal civilized person is in regard to psycho-analysis) things that have to do with love are incommensurable with everything else; they are, as it were, written on a special page on which no other writing is tolerated. If a woman patient has fallen in love with her doctor it seems to such a layman that only two out­ comes are possible. One, which happens comparatively rarely, is that all the circumstances allow of a permanent legal union between them; the other, which is more frequent, is that the doctor and the patient part and give up the work they have begun which was to have led to her recovery, as though it had been interrupted by some elemental phenomenon. There is, to be sure, a third conceivable outcome, which even seems compatible with a continuation of the treatment. This is that they should enter into a love-relationship which is illicit and which is not intended to last for ever. But such a course is made impossible by conventional morality and professional standards. Nevertheless, our l�yman will beg the analyst to reassure him as unambiguously as possible that this third alternative is excluded. It is clear that a psycho-analyst must look at things from a different point of view. Let us take the case of the second outcome of the situation we are considering. After the patient has fallen in love with her doctor, they part; the treatment is given up. But soon the patient's condition necessitates her making a second attempt at analysis, with another doctor. The next thing that happens is that she feels she has fallen in love with this second doctor too; and if she breaks off with him and begins yet again, the same thing will happen with the third doctor, and so on. This phenomenon, which occurs without fail and which is, as we know, one of the foundations of the psycho-analytic theory, may be evaluated from two points of view, that of the doctor who is carrying out the analysis and that of the patient who is "in need of it. For the doctor the phenomenon signifies a valuaple piece of enlightenment and a useful warning against any tendency to a counter-transference which may be present in his own mind.1 He must recognize that the patient's falling in love is induced 1 [The question of the 'counter-transference' had already been raised by Freud in his Nuremberg Congress paper (1910d), Standard Ed., 11,



by the analytic situation and is not to be attributed to the charms of his own person; so that he has no grounds whatever for being proud of such a 'conquest', as it would be called outside analysis. And it is always well to be reminded of this. For the patient, however, there are two alternatives: either she must relinquish psycho-analytic treatment or she must accept falling in love with her doctor as an inescapable fate. 1 I have no doubt that the patient's relatives and friends will decide as emphatically for the first of these two alternatives as the analyst will for the second. But I think that here is a case in which the decision cannQt be left to the tender-or rather, the egoistic and jealous-concern of her relatives. The welfare of the patient alone should be the touchstone; her relatives' love cannot cure her neurosis. The analyst need not push him­ self forward, but he may insist that he is indispensable for the achievement of certain ends. Any relative who adopts Tolstoy's attitude to this problem can remain in undisturbed possession of his wife or daughter; but he will have to try to put up with the fact that she, for her part, retains her neurosis and the interference with her capacity for love which it involves. The situation, after all, is similar to that in a gynaecological treat­ ment. Moreover, the jealous father or husband is greatly mistaken if he thinks that the patient will escape falling in love with her doctor if he hands her over to some kind of treatment other than analysis for combating her neurosis. The difference, on the contrary, will only be that a love of this kind, which is bound to remain unexpressed and unanalysed, can never make the contribution to the patient's recovery which analysis would have extracted from it. It has come to my knowledge that some doctors who practise analysis frequently2 prepare their patients for the emergence of the erotic transference or even urge them to 'go ahead and fall in love with the doctor so that the treatment may make progress'. I can hardly imagine a more senseless proceeding. 144-5. He returns to it below, on pp. 165 f. and 169 f. Apart from these passages, it is hard to find any other explicit discussions of the subject in Freud's published works.] 1 We know that the transference can manifest itself in other, less tender feelings, but I do not propose to go into that side of the matter here. [See the paper on 'The DynamicsofTransference' (1912b),p.105 above.] • ['Haujig.' In the first edition only, -the word here is 'friihzeitig' ('early').]



In doing so, an analyst robs the phenomenon of the element of spontaneity which is so convincing and lays up obstacles for himself in the future which are hard to overcome.1 At a first glance it certainly does not look as if the patient's falling in love in the transference could result in any advantage to the treatment. No matter how amenable she has been up till then, she suddenly loses all understanding of the treatment and all interest in it, and will not speak or hear about anything but her love, which she demands to have returned. She gives up her symptoms or pays no attention to them; indeed, she declares that she is well. There is a complete change of scene; it is as though some piece of make-believe had been stopped by the sudden irruption of reality-as when, for instance, a cry of fire is raised during a theatrical performance. No doctor who experiences this for the first time will find it easy to retain his grasp on the analytic situation and to keep clear of the illusion that the treatment is really at an end. A little reflection enables one to find one's bearings. First and foremost, one keeps in mind the suspicion that anything that interferes with the continuation of the treatment may be an expression of resistance. 2 There can be no doubt that the outbreak of a passionate demand for love is largely the work of resistance. One will have long since noticed in the patient the signs of an affectionate transference, and one will have been able to feel certain that her docility, her acceptance of the analytic explanations, her remarkable comprehension and the high degree of intelligence she showed were to be attributed to this attitude towards her doctor. Now all this is swept away. She has become quite without insight and seems to be swallowed up in her love. Moreover, this change quite regularly occurs precisely at a point of time when one is having to try to bring her to admit or remember some particularly distressing and heavily repressed piece of her life-history. She has been in love, therefore, for a long time; but now the resistance is beginning to make use of her love in order to hinder the continuation of 1 [In the first edition only, this paragraph (which is in the nature of a parenthesis) was printed in small type.] 8 [Freud had already stated this still more categorically in the first edition of Th Interpretation of Dreams (1900a), Standard Ed., 5,517. But in 1925 he added a long footnote to the passage, explaining its sense and qualifying the terms in which he had expressed himself.]


163 the treatment, to deflect all her interest from the work and to put the analyst in an awkward position. If one looks into the situation more closely one recognizes the influence of motives which further complicate things-of which some are connected with being in love and others are particular expressions of resistance. Of the first kind are the patient's endeavour to assure herself of her irresistibility, to destroy the doctor's authority by bringing him down to the level of a lover and to gain all the other promised advantages incidental to the satisfaction of love. As regards the resistance, we may suspect that on occasion it makes use of a declaration of love on the patient's part as a means of putting her analyst's severity to the test, so that, if he should show signs of com­ pliance, he may expect to be taken to task for it. But above all, one gets an impression that the resistance is acting as an agent provocateur; it heightens the patient's state of being in love and exaggerates her readiness for sexual surrender in order to justify the workings of repression all the more emphatically, by pointing to the dangers of such licentiousness. 1 All these acces­ sory motives, which in simpler cases may not be present, have, as we know, been regarded by Adler as the essential part of the whole process.2 But how is the analyst to behave in order not to come to grief over this situation, supposing he is convinced that the treatment should be carried on in spite of this erotic trans­ ference and should take it in its stride? It would be easy for me to lay stress on the universally accepted standards of morality and to insist that the analyst must never under any circumstances accept or return the tender feelings that are offered him: that, instead, he must consider that the time has come for him to put before the woman who is in love with him the demands of social morality and the necessity for renunciation, and to succeed in making her give up her desires, and, having surmounted the animal side of her self, go on with the work of analysis. I shall not, however, fulfil these expectations-neither the first nor the second of them. Not the first, because I am writing not for patients but for doctors who have serious difficulties to contend with, and also because in this instance I am able to trace the moral prescription back to its source, namely to 1 [Cf. pp. 152-3.]

164 FURTIIER RECOMMENDATIONS ON TECHNIQUE expediency. I am on this occasion in the happy position of being able to replace the moral embargo by considerations of analytic technique, without any alteration in the outcome. Even more decidedly, however, do I decline to fulfil the second of the expectations I have mentioned. To urge the patient to suppress, renounce or sublimate her instincts the -moment she has admitted her erotic transference would be, not an analytic way of dealing with them, but a senseless one. It would be just as though, after summoning up a spirit from the underworld by cunning spells, one were to send him down again without having asked him a single question. One would have brought the repressed into consciousness, only to repress it once more in a fright. Nor should we deceive ourselves about the success of any such proceeding. As we know, the passions are little affected by sublime speeches. The patient will feel only the humiliation, and she will not fail to take her revenge for it. Just as little can I advocate a middle course, which would recommend itself to some people as being specially ingenious. This would consist in declaring that one returns the patient's fond feelings but at the same time i_Il avoiding any physical im­ plementation of this fondness until one is able to guide the relationship into calmer channels and raise it to a higher level. My objection to this expedient is that psycho-analytic treatment is founded on truthfulness. In this fact lies a great part of its educative effect 'and its ethical value. It is dangerous to depart from this foundation. Anyone who has become saturated in the analytic technique will no longer be able to make use of the lies and pretences which a doctor normally finds unavoidable; and if, with the best intentions, he does attempt to do so, he is very likely to betray himself. Since we demand strict truthfulness from our patients, we jeopardize our whole authority if we let ourselves be caught out by them in a departure from the truth. Besides, the experiment of letting oneself go a little way in tender feelings for the patient is not altogether without danger. Our control over ourselves is not so complete that we may not suddenly one day go further than we had intendec;l. In my opinion, therefore, we ought not to give up the neutrality towards the patient, which we have acquired through keeping the counter-transference in check. I have already let it be understood that analytic technique



requires of the physician that he should deny to the patient who is craving for love the satisfaction she demands. The treatment must be carried out in abstinence. By this I do not mean physical abstinence alone, nor yet the deprivation of everything that the patient desires, for perhaps no sick person could tolerate this. Instead, I shall state it as a fundamental principle that the patient's need and longing should be allowed to persist in her, in order that they may serve as forces impelling her to do work and to make changes, and that we must beware of appeasing those forces by means of surrogates. And what we could offer would never be anything else than a surrogate, for the patient's condition is such that, until her repressions are removed, she is incapable of getting real satisfaction. Let us admit that this fundamental principle of the treat­ ment being carried out in abstinence extends far beyond the single case we are considering here, and that it needs to be thoroughly discussed in order that we may define the limits of its possible application. 1 We will not enter into this now, however, but will keep as close as possible to the situation from which we started out. What would happen if the doctor were to behave differently and, supposing both parties were free, if he were to avail himself of that freedom in order to return the patient's love and to still her need for affection? If he has been guided by the calculation that this com­ pliance on his part will ensure his domination over his patient and thus enable him to influence her to perform the tasks required by the treatment, and in this way to liberate herself permanently from her neurosis-then experience would in­ evitably show him that his calculation was wrong. The patient would achieve her aim, but he would never achieve his. What would happen to the doctor and the patient would only be what happened, according to the amusing anecdote, to the pastor and the insurance agent. The insurance agent, a free­ thinker, lay at the point of death and his relatives insisted on bringing in a man of God to convert him before he died. The interview lasted so long that those who were waiting outside began to have hopes. At last the door of the sick-chamber opened. The free-thinker had not been converted; but the pastor went away insured. 1 [Freud took this subject up again in his Budapest Congress paper (1919a), Standard Ed., 17, 162-3.]



If the patient's advances were returned it would be a great triumph for her, but a complete defeat for the treatment. She would have succeeded in what all patients strive for in analysis -she would have succeeded in acting out, in repeating in real life, what she ought only to have remembered, to have re­ produced as psychical material and to have kept within the sphere of psychical events. 1 In the further course of the love­ relationship she would bring out all the inhibitions and patho­ logical reactions of her erotic life, without there being any possibility of correcting them; and the distressing episode would end in remorse and a great strengthening of her propensity to repression. The love-relationship in fact destroys the patient's susceptibility to influence from analytic treatment. A combina­ tion of the two would be an impossibility. It is, therefore, just as disastrous for the analysis if the patient's craving for love is gratified as if it is suppressed. The course the analyst must pursue is neither of these; it is one for which there is no model in real life. He must take care not to steer away from the transference-love, or to repulse it or to make it distasteful to the patient; but he must just as resolutely withhold any response to it. He must keep firm hold of the transference-love, but treat it as something unreal, as a situation which has to be gone through in the treatment and traced back to its unconscious origins and which must assist in bringing all that is most deeply hidden in the patient's erotic life into her consciousness and therefore under her control. The more plainly the analyst lets it be seen that he is proof against every tempta­ tion, the more readily will he be able to extract from the situa­ tion its analytic content. The patient, whose sexual repression is of course not yet removed but merely pushed into the back­ ground, will then feel safe enough to allow all her preconditions for loving, all the phantasies springing from her sexual desires, all the detailed characteristics of her state of being in love, to come to light; and from these she will herself open the way to the infantile roots of her love. There is, it is true, one class of women with whom this attempt to preserve the erotic transference for the purposes of analytic work without satisfying it will not succeed. These are women of elemental passionateness who tolerate no surrogates. They are children of nature who refuse to accept the psychical 1 See the preceding paper [p. 150].



in place of the material, who, in the poet's words, are accessible only to 'the logic of soup, with dumplings for arguments'. With such people one has the choice between returning their love or else bringing down upon oneself the full enmity of a woman scorned. In neither case can one safeguard the interests of the treatment. One has to withdraw, unsuccessful; and all one can do is to turn the problem over in one's mind of how it is that a capacity for neurosis is joined with such an intract­ able need for love. Many analysts will no doubt be agreed on the method by which other women, who are less violent in their love, can be gradually made to adopt the analytic attitude. What we do, above all, is to stress to the patient the unmistakable element of resistance in this 'love'. Genuine love, we say, would make her docile and intensify her readiness to solve the problems of her case, simply because the man she was in love with expected it of her. In such a case she would gladly choose the road to completion of the treatment, in order to acquire value in the doctor's eyes and to prepare herself for real life, where this feeling of love could find a proper place. Instead of this, we point out, she is showing a stubborn and rebellious spirit, she has thrown up all interest in her treatment, and clearly feels no respect for the doctor's well-founded convictions. She is thus bringing out a resistance under the guise of being in love with him; and in addition to this she has no compunction in placing him in a cleft stick. For if he refuses her love, as his duty and his understanding compel him to do, she can play the part of a woman scorned, and then withdraw from his therapeutic efforts out of revenge and resentment, exactly as she is now doing out of her ostensible love. As a second argument against the genuineness of this love we advance the fact that it exhibits not a single new feature arising from the present situation, but is entirely composed of repetitions and copies of earlier reactions, including infantile ones. We undertake to prove this by a detailed analysis of the patient's behaviour in love. If the necessary amount of patience is added to these argu­ ments, it is usually possible to overcome the difficult situation and to continue the work with a love which has been moderated or transformed; the work then aims at uncovering the patient's infantile object-choice and the phantasies woven round it.



I should now like, however, to examine these arguments with a critical eye and to raise the question whether, in putting them forward to the patient, we are really telling the truth, or whether we are not resorting in our desperation to conceal­ ments and misrepresentations. In other words: can we truly say that the state of being in love which becomes manifest in analytic treatment is not a real one? I think we have told the patient the truth, but not the whole truth regardless of the consequences. Of our two arguments the first is the stronger. The part played by resistance in transference­ love is unquestionable and very considerable. Nevertheless the resistance did not, after all, create this love; it finds it ready to hand, makes use of it and aggravates its manifestations. Nor is the genuineness of the phenomenon disproved by the resistance. The second argument is far weaker. It is true that the love consists of new editions of old traits and that it repeats infantile reactions. But this is the essential character of every state of being in love. There is no such state which does not reproduce infantile prototypes. It is precisely from this infantile deter­ mination that it receives its compulsive character, verging as it does on the pathological. Transference-love has perhaps a degree less of freedom than the love which appears in ordinary life and is called normal; it displays its dependence on the infimtile pattern more clearly and is less adaptable and capable of modification; but that is all, and not what is essential. By what other signs can the genuineness of a love be recog­ nized? By its efficacy, its serviceability in achieving the aim of love? In this respect transference-love seems to be second to none; one has the impression that one could obtain anything from it. Let us sum up, therefore. We have no right to dispute that the state of being in love which makes its appearance in the course of analytic treatment has the character of a 'genuine' love. If it seems so lacking in normality, this is sufficiently explained by the fact that being in love in ordinary life, outside analysis, is also more similar to abnormal than to normal mental phenomena. Nevertheless, transference-love is char­ acterized by certain features which ensure it a special position. In the first place, it is provoked by the analytic situation; secondly, it is greatly intensified by the resistance, which dominates the situation; and thirdly, it is lacking to a high



degree in a regard for reality, is less sensible, less concerned about consequences and more blind in its valuation of the loved person than we are prepared to admit in the case of normal love. We should not forget, however, that these departures from the norm constitute precisely what is essential about being in love. As regards the analyst's line of action, it is the first of these three features of transference-love which is the decisive factor. He has evoked this love by instituting analytic treatment in order to cure the neurosis. For him, it is an unavoidable con­ sequence of a medical situation, like the exposure of a patient's body or the imparting of a vital secret. It is therefore plain to him that he must not derive any personal advantage from it. The patient's willingness makes no difference; it merely throws the whole responsibility on the analyst himself. Indeed, as he must know, the patient had been prepared for no other mech­ anism of cure. After all the difficulties have been successfully overcome, she will often confess to having had an anticipatory phantasy at the time when she entered the treatment, to the effect that if she behaved well she would be rewarded at the end by the doctor's affection. For the doctor, ethical motives unite with the technical ones to restrain him from giving the patient his love. The aim he has to keep in view is that this woman, whose capacity for love is impaired by infantile fixations, should gain free command over a function which is of such inestimable importance to her; that she should not, however, dissipate it in the treatment, but keep it ready for the time when, after her treatment, the demands of real life make themselves felt. He must not stage the scene of a dog-race in which the prize was to be a garland of sausages but which some humorist spoilt by throwing a single sausage on to the track. The result was, of course, that the dogs threw themselves upon it and forgot a11 about the race and about the garland that was luring them to victory in the far distance. I do not mean to say that it is always easy for the doctor to keep within the limits prescribed by ethics and technique. Those who are still youngish and not yet bound by strong ties may in particular find it a hard task. Sexual love is undoubtedly one of the chief things in life, and the union of mental and bodily satisfaction in the enjoyment of love is one of its culminating peaks. Apart from a few queer fanatics, all the world knows S.F. XII-M



this and conducts its life accordingly; science alone is too delicate to admit it. Again, when a woman sues for love, to reject and refuse is a distressing part for a man to play; and, in spite of neurosis and resistance, there is an incomparable fascination in a woman of high principles who confesses her passion. It is not a patient's crudely sensual desires which con­ stitute the temptation. These are more likely to repel, and it will call for all the doctor's tolerance ifhe is to regard them as a natural phenomenon. It is rather, perh�ps, a woman's subtler and aim-inhibited wishes which bring with them the danger of making a man forget his technique and his medical task for the sake of a fine experience. And yet it is quite out of the question for the analyst to give way. However highly he may prize love he must prize even more highly the opportunity for helping his patient over a decisive stage in her life. She has to learn from him to over­ come the pleasure principle, to give up a satisfaction which lies to hand but is socially not acceptable, ip favour of a more distapt one, which is perhaps altogether uncertain, but which is both psychologically and socially unimpeachable. To achieve this overcoming, she has to be led through the primal period of her mental development and on that path she has to acquire the extra piece of mental freedom which distinguishes conscious mental activity-in the systematic sense-from unconscious. 1 The analytic psychotherapist thus has a threefold battle to wage-in his own mind against the forces which seek to drag him down from the analytic level; outside the analysis, against opponents who dispute the importance he attaches to the sexual instinctual forces and hinder him from making use of them in his scientific technique; and inside the analysis, against his patients, who at first behave like opponents but later on reveal the overvaluation of sexual life which dominates them, and who try to make him captive to their socially untamed passion. The lay public, about whose attitude to psycho-analysis I spoke at the outset, will doubtless seize upon this discussion of transference-love as another opportunity for directing the attention of the world to the serious danger of this therapeutic method. The psycho-analyst knows that he is working with highly explosive forces and that he needs to proceed with as much caution and conscientiousness as a chemist. But when 1 [This distinc;tioII. is explained below, p. 266.]



have chemists ever been forbidden, because of the danger, from handling explosive substances, which are indispensable, on account of their effects? It is remarkable that psycho-analysis has to win for itself afresh all the liberties which have long since been accorded to other medical activities. I am certainly not in favour of giving up the harmless methods of treatment. For many cases they are sufficient, and, when all is said, human society has no more use for the furor sanandi 1 than for any other fanaticism. But to believe that the psychoneuroses are to be conquered by operating with harmless little remedies is grossly to under-estimate those disorders both as to their origin and their practical importance. No; in medical practice there will always be room for the 'ferrum' and the 'ignis' side by side with the 'medicina' ;2 and in the same way we shall never be able to do without a strictly regular, undiluted psycho-analysis which is not afraid to handle the most dangerous mental impulses and to obtain mastery over them for the benefit of the patient. 1 ['Passion for curing people.'] • [An allusion to a saying attributed to Hippocrates: 'Those diseases which medicines do not cure, iron (the knife?) cures; those which iron cannot cure, fire cures; and those which fire cannot cure are to be reckoned wholly incurable.' Aphorisms, VII, 87 (trans. 1849).]

APPENDIX LIST OF WRITINGS BY FREUD DEALING MAINLY WITH PSYCHO-ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE AND THE THEORY OF PSYCHOTHERAPY [ The date at the beginning of each entry is that of the year during which the work in question was probably written. The date at the end is that of publication} and under that date fuller particulars of the work will be found in the Bibliography and Author Index.] 1888 *Introduction to the translation of Bernheim's De la suggestion (1888-9) 1892 *'A Case of Successful Treatment by Hypnotism' (1892-93b) 1895 Studies on Hysteria, Part IV (1895d) 1898 'Sexuality in the Aetiology of the Neuroses' (last part) (1898a) 1899 The Interpretation of Dreams, Chapter II (first part) (1900a) 1901 'Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria', Chapter IV (1905e) 1903 'Freud's Psycho-Analytic Procedure' (1904a) 1904 'On Psychotherapy' (1905a) 1905 *'Psychical (or Mental) Treatment' (1905b) 1910 'The Future Prospects of Psycho-Analytic Therapy' (1910d) 1910 '"Wild" Psycho-Analysis' (1910k) 1911 'The Handling of Dream-Interpretation in Psycho­ Analysis' (191 le) 1912 'The Dynamics of Transference' (1912b) 1912 'Recommendations to Physicians Practising Psycho­ Analysis' (1912e) 1913 'On Beginning the Treatment' (1913c) 1914 'Fausse Reconnaissance ("deja raconte") in Psycho­ Analytic Treatment' (1914a) 1914 'Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through' (1914g) 1914 'Observations on Transference-Love' (1915a)

• These papers are concerned only with hypnotism. and suggestion. 172

LIST OF TECHNICAL PAPERS 1917 1918 1920 1923 1926 1932 1937 1937 1938


Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, Lectures XXVII

and XXVIII (1916-17) 'Lines of Advance in Psycho-Analytic Therapy' (1919a} Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Chapter II (1920g) 'Remarks on the Theory and Practice of Dream­ Interpretation' (1923c) The Q,uestion of Lay Analysis, Chapter V(1926e) New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, Lecture XXXIV (last part) (1933a) 'Analysis Terminable and Interminable' (1937c) 'Constructions in Analysis' (1937d) An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, Chapter VI (1940a)


(1957 [1911])


(a) GERMAN EnmoN: (1911 Probable date of composition.) 1958 Dreams in Folklore, Part II, New York: International Universities Press. Pp. 69-111. (b)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: 'Dreams in Folklore' 1958 Id., Part I, New York: International Universities Press. Pp. 19-65. (Tr. A. M. 0. Richards; Introd. J. Strachey.) The present translation is a reprint of the one published in New York, with a few very small changes. The paper was originally given the Standard Edition reference number of 1957a; and it has been thought best to retain this, though the actual publication of the paper was unexpectedly deferred to 1958. The existence of this paper, written jointly by Freud and Professor D. E. Oppenheim of Vienna, had been in effect over­ looked until the summer of 1956, when Mrs. Liffman, Oppen­ heim's daughter, then living in Australia, brought it to the notice of a New York bookseller. Soon afterwards the manu­ script was acquired on behalf of the Sigmund Freud Archives by Dr. Bernard L. Pacella, and it is through his generosity, and with the unfailing help of Dr. K. R. Eissler, the Secretary of the Archives, that we are able to include the work in the

Standard Edition.

David Ernst Oppenheim, Freud's collaborator in this paper, was born at Brunn, in what is now Czechoslovakia, in 1881. He was a classical scholar and became professor at the Akade­ misches Gymnasium, a secondary school in Vienna, where he taught Greek and Latin. Dr. ErnestJones (1955, 16) mentions him among those who attended Freud's University lectures in 1906; but his acquaintance with Freud apparently dates only




from 1909. In the autumn of that year he seems to have sent Freud a copy of a paper dealing with classical mythology in a way which showed a knowledge of psycho-analytic literature, for a letter of Freud's has survived (dated October 28, 1909)1 thanking him for it in very warm terms and suggesting that he should bring his knowledge of the classics into the service of psycho-analytic studies. The outcome was evidently his associa­ tion with the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society, of which (again according to Jones, loc. cit.) he became a member in 1910. On April 20 of that year he opened a symposium in the Vienna Society on suicide (particularly among schoolboys), which was published in the form of a brochure (1910; see also Freud, 1910g). Oppenheim's contribution will be found there under the signature 'Unus Multorum', but it was reprinted under his own name some years later in a collective work Heilen und Bilden, edited by Adler and Furtmilller (1914). The published minutes of the Vienna Society show that he read three 'short communications' during 1910 and 1911, the first of which, on 'Folklore Material bearing upon Dream Symbolism' (Novem­ ber 16, 1910), has an evident relation to the present work. In the spring of 1911 Freud brought out the third edition of The Interpretation of Dreams and in this he inserted a footnote mentioning Oppenheim's work in connection with dreams in folklore and stating that a paper on the subject was shortly to appear (Standard Ed., 5, 621). The footnote was omitted in all later editions. This omission, as well as the disappearance of the present paper, is no doubt accounted for by the fact that soon afterwards Oppenheim became an adherent of Adler's and, along with five other members, resigned from the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society on October 11, 1911. He died during the second World War in the concentration camp at Theresien­ stadt, in which both he and his wife were interned. After the war his wife emigrated to Australia, taking with her the manu­ script, which she had been able to preserve. In accordance with her wishes, its publication was withheld until after her own death. It is possible to date Freud's share in this paper within fairly narrow limits. It cannot have been written before the early part of 1911, as is shown by a reference in it to Stekel's 1 The German text of this letter, together with an English translation, is included in the American edition of the paper.



Die Sprache des Traumes which ·was published towards the begin­ ning of that year (p. 194 n.); and it must have been completed before the final breach with Adler the same summer. Though the manuscript as we now possess it has had no final revision by its authors, it in fact calls for very little editorial tidying-up, and it gives us a clear means of judging the share taken in it by its two authors. The raw material was evidently collected by Oppenheim. This was largely derived from the periodical Anthropophyteia (Leipzig, 1904-1913), edited by F. S. Krauss, in which Freud had always taken a special interest. 1 (Cf. his open letter to its editor, 1910!, and his preface to Bourke's Scatalogic Rites of All Nations, 1913k, p. 335 below, which is particularly relevant to the present paper.) Oppen­ heim copied out this material, partly in typescript and partly by hand (adding a very few short remarks), and submitted it to Freud, who then arranged it in an appropriate sequence, pasted Oppenheim's sheets on to much larger sheets of his own, and interpolated them with a profuse commentary. Freud must then have returned the whole manuscript to Oppenheim, who seems once more to have added two or three further notes (some of them in shorthand). In the version printed below, therefore, the contributions made by the two authors are automatically distinguished, if we leave out of account any previous interchange of views. All the raw material, printed here in somewhat smaller type, is to be attributed to Oppenheim; Freud is responsible for every­ thing else-the introduction, the commentaries, the conclusion, and the whole arrangement of the material. The only change made by the editors has been to transfer the references from the body of the text to thefootnotes. Oppenheim's very few marginal remarks have also been printed as footnotes, with their author­ ship specified. Some of these, however, have unfortunately become illegible. No attempt has been made in the translation to reproduce the various dialects in which many of the original stories are written. A conventional idiom has been adopted, of a kind usually associated with folk tales. The references have been checked wherever possible, and a number of errors in them corrected. 1 Some of the material is also taken from K ptadia, a similar periodi­ ry

cal published in Heilbronn and Paris between 1883 and 1911.

DREAMS IN FOLKLORE By Sigm. Freud and Prof. Ernst Oppenheim (Vienna) 'Celsi praetereunt austera poemata Ramnes.' Persius, Satirae. 1 ONE of us (0.) in his studies of folklore has made two observa­ tions with regard to the dreams narrated there which seem to him worth communicating. Firstly, that the symbolism em­ ployed in these dreams coincides completely with that accepted by psycho-analysis, and secondly, that a number of these dreams are understood by the common people in the same way as they would be interpreted by psycho-analysis-that is, not as pre­ monitions about a still unrevealed future, but as the fulfilment of wishes, the satisfaction of needs which arise during the state of sleep. Certain peculiarities of these, usually indecent, dreams, which are told as comic anecdotes, have encouraged the second of us (Fr.) to attempt an interpretation of them which has made them seem more serious and more deserving of attention. I

PENIS-SYMBOLISM IN DREAMS OCCURRING IN FOLKLORE The dream which we introduce first, although it contains no symbolic representations, sounds almost like ridicule of the prophetic and a plea in favour of the psychological interpreta­ tion of dreams. A DREAM-INTERPRETATION 1

A girl got up from her bed and told her mother that she had had a most strange dream. 1 [The motto at the head of the work is in Oppenheim's writing. The quotation is actually line 342 of Horace's Ars Poetica. The precise sense of the words is disputed by the experts, but its application here may be paraphrased: 'Haughty persons in authority disdain poems that are lacking in charm.'] 1 'Sildslavische Volksilberlieferungen, die sich auf den Geschlechts180



'Well, what did you dream, then?' asked her mother. 'How shall I tell you? I don't know myself what it was-some sort of long and red and blunted thing.' 'Long means a road,' said her mother reflectively, 'a long road; red means joy, but I don't know what blunted can mean.' The girl's father, who was getting dressed meanwhile, and was listening to everything that the mother and daughter were saying, muttered at this, more or less to himself: 'It sounds rather like my cock.' 1 It is very much more convenient to study dream-symbolism in folklore than in actual dreams. Dreams are obliged to con­ ceal things and only surrender their secrets to interpretation; these comic anecdotes, however, which are disguised as dreams, are intended as communications, meant to give pleasure to the person who tells them as well as to the listener, and therefore the interpretation is added quite unashamedly to the symbol. These stories delight in stripping off the veiling symbols. In the following quatrain the penis appears as a sceptre: Last night I dreamt I was King of the land, And how jolly I was With a prick in my hand}' Now compare with this the following examples in which the same symbolism is employed outside a dream. I love a little lass The prettiest I've seen, I'll put a sceptre in your hand And you shall be a queen.8 verkehr beziehen [Southern Slav Folk Traditions concerning S�l Intercourse]', collected and elucidated by F. S. Krauss, Anthropophyteia, 7 [1910], 450, No. 820. 1 [Addition by F. S. Krauss:] See Anthropopl!Jteia, 1 [1904], 4, No. 5. Cf. further the German Jewish proverb: 'The goose dreams of maize and the betrothed girl of a prick.' [See also The Interpretation of Dreams, Standard Ed., 4, 131-2.] 1 'Niederosterreichische [Lower Austrian] Schnadahiipfeln', collected by Dr. H. Rollett. [The Schnadahupfel is a light-hearted extempore verse in four lines, the second and fourth lines rhyming, sung in Bavarian and Austrian mountain districts.] Anthropophyteia, 5 [1908], 151, No. 2. 1 From the Austrian Alps, Kryptadia, 4, 111, No. 160.


DREAMS IN FOLKLORE 'Remember, my boy', said Napoleon, The Emperor of renown, 'So long as the prick is the sceptre The cunt will be the crown.' 1

A different variant of this symbolic exaltation of the genitals is favoured in the imagination of artists. A fine etching by Felicien Rops, 2 bearing the title 'Tout est grand che;:, !es rois' ['Everything about kings is great'], shows the naked figure of a king with the features of the Roi Soleil [Louis XIV], whose gigantic penis, which rises to arm level, itself wears a crown. The right hand balances a sceptre, while the left clasps a large orb, which by reason of a central cleft achieves an unmistakable resemblance to another part of the body which is the object of erotic desires. 8 The index finger of the left hand is inserted into this groove.

In the Silesian folksong that follows, the dream is only in­ vented in order to hide a different occurrence. The penis appears here as a worm ('fat earthworm'), which has crawled into the girl, and at the right time crawls out again as a little worm (baby)." SONG OF THE EARTHWORM5 Asleep on the grass one day a young lass Susanna of passion was dreaming; A soft smile did play round her nose as she lay While she thought of her swain ap.d his scheming. 1 From Gaming in Lower Austria, Anthropophyteia, 3 [1906], 190, No. 85, 4. 1 Rops, 1905, Plate 20. • [Marginal Note by Oppenheim:] Like the orb in Rops's picture, a Roman relief in the Amphitheatre at Nimes shows an egg transformed into a symbol of the female sexual organs by means of a similar groove. Here, too, the male counterpart is not absent. It appears as a phallus strangely furbished up as a bird which sits on four eggs of the kind described-one might say brooding them. [The reference added is untraceable.] ' [' Wurmchen' ('little worm') is a common German expression for 'baby'.] 1 'Schlcsische Volkslieder [Silesian Folksongs]', transcribed by Dr. von Waldheim, Anthropophyteia, 7 [1910], 369.


DREAMS IN FOLKLORE Then-dream full of fear!-it swift did appear That her lover so handsome and charming Had become as she slept a fat earthworm which crept Right inside. What could be more alarming? Full of dread in her heart she awoke with a start And swift to the village she hied her And tearfully told all the folk young and old That an earthworm had crawled up inside her. Her wailing and tears came at last to the ears Of her mother who cursed and swore roundly; With bodings of gloom she repaired to her room And examined the maiden most soundly.

For the earthworm she sought, but alas! could find nought­ An unfortunate thing which dismayed her. So she hurried away without further delay To ask the wise woman to aid her. With cunning she laid out the cards for the maid And said: 'We must wait a while longer. 'I have questioned the Knave, but no answer he gave; 'Perhaps the Red King will prove stronger. ' 'Tis the news that you fear which the Red King1 speaks clear: 'The worm really crawled in the girlie; 'But as everything bides its due times and its tides 'To catch it 'tis yet much too early.' When Susanna had heard the lugubrious word She went to her chamber full sadly; Till at last there appeared the dread hour that she feared And out crept the little worm gladly. So be warned, every lass: do not dream on the grass, But let poor Susanna's fate guide you, Or-as you too may know, to your grief and your woe­ A fat earthworm will creep up inside you.• The same symbolization of the penis by a from numerous obscene jokes.

worm is familiar

The dream which now follows symbolizes the penis by a ['Roter Konig' ('Red King') is an Austrian slang term for 'menstrua­ tion'.] • [Footnote by F. S. Krauss:] C£ p. 359 and the Southern Slav version in Krauss, 'Die Zeugung in Sitte, Brauch und Glauben der Siidslaven [Procreation in the Customs, Usages and Beliefs of the Southern Slavs]', Kryptadia, 6, 259-269 and 375 f. 1



dagger: the woman who dreams it is pulling at a dagger in order to stab herself, when she is awakened by her husband and exhorted not to tear his member off. A BAD DREAM1 A woman dreamt that things had got to such a pitch that they had nothing to eat before the holiday and could not buy anything either. Her husband had drunk up all the money. There was only a lottery ticket left and even this they really ought to pawn. But the man was still keeping it back, for the draw was to be on the second of January. He said: 'Wife, now tomorrow is the draw, let the ticket wait a while longer. If we don't win, then we must sell the ticket or pawn it.'-'Well, the devil take it, all you've bought is worry, and you've got about as much out of it as there is milk in a billy-goat.' So the next day arrived. See, along came the news­ paper man. He stopped him, took a copy and began to look down the list. He ran his eyes over the figures, he looked through every column, his number was not among them. He did not trust his eyes, looked through once again and this time sure enough he came upon the number of his ticket. The number was the same, but the number of the series did not fit. Once again he did not trust himself and thought to himself: 'This must be a mistake. Wait a bit, I will go to the bank and make certain one way or the other.' So he went there with his head hanging. On the way he met a second news­ paper man. He bought another copy of a second paper, scanned the list and found the number of his ticket straight away. The number of the series, too, was the same as the one which included his ticket. The prize of 5,000 roubles fell to his lot. He burst into the bank, rushed up and asked them to pay out on the winning ticket at once. The banker said that they could not pay out yet, only in a week or two. He began to beg and pray: 'Please be kind, give me one thousand at least, I can get the rest later!' The banker refused, but advised him to apply to the private individual who had procured the winning lottery ticket for him. What was to be done now? Just then a little Jew appeared as though he had sprung up from the ground. He smelt a bargain and made him an offer to pay over the money at once, though instead of 5,000 only 4,000. The fifth thousand would be his own share. The man was delighted at this good fortune and decided to give the Jew the thousand, just so that he could get the money on the spot. He took the money from the Jew and handed over the ticket to him. Then he went home. On the way he went into an inn, swallowed a quick glass and from there went straight home. He walked along grinning and humming a little song. !fis wife saw him through the window and thought: 'Now he's certainly sold the lottery ticket; you can see he's cheerful, 1 [Tarasevsky (1909, 289, No. 265).]



he's probably paid a visit to the inn and got himself drunk because he was feeling miserable.' Then he came indoors, put the money on the kitchen table and went to his wife to bring her the good news that he had won and had got the money. While they were hugging and kissing one another to their heart's content because they were so happy, their little three-year-old daughter grabb�d the money and threw it into the stove. Then they came along to count the money and it was no longer there. The last bundle of notes was already on fire. In a rage the man seized hold of the little girl by the legs and dashed her against the stove. She dropped dead. Disaster stared him in the face, there was no escaping Siberia now. He seized his revolver and bang_! he shot himself in the chest and dropped dead. Horrified by such a disaster, the woman snatched up a dagger and was going to stab herself. She tried to pull it out of the sheath but could not manage it however she tried. Then she heard a voice as though from Heaven: 'Enough, let go! What are you doing?' She woke up and saw that she was not pulling at a dagger but at her ·husband's tool, and he was saying: 'Enough, let go or you'll tear it off!' The representation of the penis as a weapon, cutting knife, 1 dagger, etc., is familiar to us from the anxiety dreams of abstinent women in particular and also lies at the root of numerous phobias in neurotic people. The complicated dis­ guise of this present dream, however, demands that we should make an attempt to clarify our understanding of it by a psycho­ analytic interpretation based on interpretations already carried out. In doing so we are not overlooking the fact that we shall be going beyond the material presented in the folk tale itself and that consequently our conclusions will lose in certainty. Since this dream ends in an act of sexual aggression carried out by the woman as a dream-action, 2 this suggests that we should take the state of material need in the content of the dream as a substitute for a state of sexual need. Only the most extreme libidinal compulsion can at all justify such aggressiveness on 1 [Footnote by Oppenheim:] A knife is habitually carried by a burglar ['Einbrecher', literally, 'someone who breaks in']. The kind of breaking-in intended is shown by a proverbial phrase from Solingen [in the in­ dustrial Rhineland], reported in Anthropophyteia, 5 [1908], 182 [No. 11]: 'After marriage comes a burglary [breaking-in].' Cf. the Berlin slang term 'Brecheisen' [�emmy', literally, 'breaking-iron'] for 'a power­ ful penis' (Anthropophyteia, 7 [1910], 33). 1 ['Traumhandlung.' This term is used in the present paper to describe an action which is carried out by someone in a dream but is at the same time a real action. The concept appears not to be discussed in The Interpretation of Dreams.]




the part of a woman. Other pieces of the dream-content point in a quite definite and different direction. The blame for this state of need is ascribed to the man. (He had drunk up all the money.)1 The dream goes on to get rid of the man and the child and skilfully evades the sense of guilt attached to these wishes by causing the child to be killed by the man who then commits suicide out of remorse. Since this is the content of the dream we are led to conclude from many analogous instances that here is a woman who is not satisfied by her husband and who in her phantasies is longing for another marriage. It is all one for the interpretation whether we like to regard this dis­ satisfaction of the dreamer's as a permanent state of want or merely as the expression of a temporary one. The lottery, which in the dream brought about a short-lived state of happiness, could perhaps be understood as a symbolic reference to marriage. This symbol has not yet been identified with certainty in psycho-analytic work, but people are in the habit of saying that marriage is a game of chance, that in marriage one either draws the winning lot or a blank. 2 The numbers, which have been enormously magnified 8 by the dream-work, could well correspond in that case to the number of repetitions of the satisfying act that are wished for. We are thus made aware that the act of pulling the man's member not only has the meaning of libidinal provocation but also the additional meaning of con­ temptuous criticism, as though the woman wanted to pull the member off-as the man correctly assumed-because it was no good, did not fulfil its obligations. We should not have lingered over the interpretation of this dream and exploited it beyond its overt symbolism were it not that other dreams which likewise end in a dream-action demon­ strate that the common people have recognized here a typical situation which, wherever it occurs, is susceptible to the same explanation. (Cf. below, p. 198.) 1 [Marginal Note by Oppenheim:] Cf. further below our remarks on 'marriage portion' as a tenn for 'penis' and 'purse' for 'testes' and also comparisons between virility and wealth and between the thirst for gold and libido. [It is not clear to what remarks this reference is intended to apply.] 1 Another dream about a lottery in this little collection confirms this suggestion. [See p. 202 below.] 1 Psycho-analytic experience shows that noughts appended to numbers in dreams can be ignored in interpretation.




FAECES-SYMBOLISM AND RELATED DREAM­ ACTIONS Psycho-analysis has taught us that in the very earliest period of childhood faeces is a highly prized substance, in relation to which coprophilic instincts find satisfaction. With the repres­ sion of these instincts, which is accelerated as much as possible by up-bringing, this substance falls into contempt and then serves conscious purposes as a means of expressing disdain and scorn. Certain forms of mental activity such as joking are still able to make the obstructed source of pleasure accessible for a brief moment, and thus show how much of the esteem in which human beings once held their faeces still remains preserved in the unconscious. The most important residue of this former esteem is, however, that all the interest which the child has had in faeces is transferred in the adult on to another material which he learns in life to set above almost everything else­ gold.1 How old this connection between excrement and gold is can be seen from an observation by Jeremias: 2 gold, according to ancient oriental mythology, is the excrement of hell. 3 In dreams in folklore gold is seen in the most unambiguous way to be a symbol of faeces. If the sleeper feels a need to defaecate, he dreams of gold, of treasure. The disguise in the dream, which is designed to mislead him into satisfying his need in bed, usually makes the pile of faeces serve as a sign to mark the place where the treasure is to be found; that is to say, the dream-as though by means of endopsychic perception-states outright, even if in a reversed form, that gold is a sign or a symbol for faeces. A simple treasure- or defaecation-dream of this kind is the following one, related in the Facetiae of Poggio. DREAM-GOLD4

A certain man related in company that he had dreamt he had

Cf. 'Character and Anal Erotism' (1908b). Jeremias (1904, 115 n.). 8 [Marginal Note by Oppenheim:] Similarly in Mexico. 'Poggio [Bracciolini] (1905, No. 130). [As will be seen, the anec­ dote has been slightly abbreviated by Oppenheim.] 1 8

DREAMS IN FOLKLORE 188 found gold. Thereupon another man capped it with this story. (What follows is quoted verbatim.) 'My neighbour once dreamt that the Devil had led him to a field to dig for gold; but he found none. Then the Devil said: "It is there for sure, only you cannot dig it up now; but take note of the place so that you may recognize it again by yourself." 'When the man asked that the place should be made recognizable by some sign, the Devil suggested: "Just shit on it, then it will not occur to anybody that there is gold lying hidden here and you will be able to recognize the exact place." The man did so and then immediately awoke and felt that he had done a great heap in his bed.' (We give the conclusion in summary.) As he was fleeing from the house, he put on a cap in which a cat had done its business during the same night. He had to wash his head and his hair. 'Thus his dream-gold was turned to filth.' Tarasevsky (1909, 194, No. 232) reports a similar dream from the Ukraine in which a peasant receives some treasure from the Devil, to whom he has lit a candle, and puts a pile of faeces to mark the place. 1

We need not be surprised if the Devil appears in these two dreams as a bestower of treasure and a seducer, for the Devil­ himself an angel expelled from Paradise-is certainly nothing else than the personification of the repressed unconscious in­ stinctual life. 11 The motives behind these simple comic anecdotes about dreams appear to be exhausted in a cynical delight in dirt and a malicious satisfaction over the dreamer's embarrassment. But in other dreams about treasure the form taken by the dream is confused in all sorts of ways and includes various constituents the origin and significance of which we may well investigate. For we shall not regard even these dream-contents, which are intended to provide a rationalistic justification for obtaining the satisfaction, as entirely arbitrary and meaningless. In the two next examples, the dream is not ascribed to a person sleeping alone but to one of two sleepers-two men­ who share a bed. As a result of the dream, the dreamer dirties his bedfellow. [Addition by Oppenheim:] Attention is there drawn to parallels in Anthropophyteia, 4 [1907], 342-345, Nos. 580-581. 1


'Character and Anal Erotism' (1908h).





Two travelling journeymen arrived weary at an inn and asked for a night's lodging. 'Yes,' said the host, 'if you are not afraid, you can have a bedroom, but it's a haunted one. If you want to stay, that's all right, and the night will cost you nothing as far as sleeping goes.' The lads asked one another: 'Are you frightened?' 'No.' Very well, so they seized another litre of wine and went to the room assigned to them. They had hardly been lying down any time when the door opened and a white figure glided through the room. One fellow said to the other: 'Didn't you see something?' 'Yes.' 'Well, why didn't you say anything?' 'Just wait, it's going to come through the room again.' Sure enough, the figure glided in again. One of the lads jumped up swiftly, but swifter still the ghost glided out through the crack in the door. The lad, by no means slow, pulled open the door and saw the figure, a beautiful woman, already half way down the stairs. 'What are you doing there?' the lad shouted out. The figure stood still, turned round and spoke: 'Now I am released. I have long had to wander. As a reward take the treasure which lies just at the spot where you are standing.' The lad was as much frightened as delighted, and in order to mark the place he lifted up his shirt and planted a fine pile, for he thought that no one would wipe out that mark. But just as he was at his happiest, he felt someone sud­ denly seize hold of him. 'You dirty swine,' someone bellowed in his ear, 'you're shitting on my shirt.' At these coarse words the happy dreamer awoke from his fairy-tale good fortune to find himself roughly hurled out of bed. HE SHAT ON THE GRAVE 1

Two gentlemen arrived at a hotel, ate their evening meal and drank and at last wanted to go to bed. They asked the host if he would show them to a room. As the rooms were all occupied the host gave up his own bed to them, which they were both to sleep in, and he would soon find a place for himself to sleep somewhere else. The two men lay down in the same bed. A spirit appeared to one of them in a dream, lit a candle and led him to the churchyard. The lychgate opened and the spirit with the candle in its hand and the man behind walked up to the grave of a maiden. When they had reached the grave, the candle suddenly went out. 'What shall I do 1 F. Wernert, 'Deutsche Bauemerziihlungen gesammelt im Ober- und Unterelsass [German Peasant-Tales, Collected in Upper and Lower Alsace]', Anthropophyteia, 3 [1906], 72, No. 15. 1 [F. S. Krauss, 'Siidslavische Volksiiberlieferungen, die sich auf den Geschlechtsverkehr beziehen (Southern Slav Folk Traditions concerning Sexual Intercourse)', Anthropoph,yteia, 5 (1908), 346, No. 737.]



now? How shall I tell which is the maiden's grave to-morrow, when it is day?' he asked in the dream. Then an idea came to his rescue, he pulled down his drawers and shat on the grave. When he had finished shitting, his comrade, who was sleeping beside him, struck him first on one cheek and then on the other: 'What! You'd shit right in my face?' In these two dreams, in place of the Devil other super­ natural figures appear, namely ghosts-that is, spirits of dead people. The spirit in the second dream actually leads the dreamer to the churchyard, where he is to mark a particular grave by defaecating on it. A part of this situation is very easy to understand. The sleeper knows that the bed is not the proper place for satisfying his need; hence in the dream he causes himself to be led away from it and procures a person who shows his hidden urge the right way to another place where he is permitted to satisfy his need, indeed is required by the circum­ stances to do so. The spirit in the second dream actually makes use of a candle when leading him, as a servant would do if he was conducting a stranger to the W.C. at night when it was dark. But why are these representatives of the demand for a change of scene, which the lazy sleeper wants to avoid at all costs, such uncanny individuals as ghosts and spirits of dead people? Why does the spirit in the second dream lead the way to a churchyard as if to desecrate a grave? After all, these elements seem to have nothing to do with the urge to defaecate and the symbolization of faeces by gold. There is an indication in them of an anxiety which could perhaps be traced back to an effort to suppress the achievement of satisfaction in bed; but that anxiety would not explain the specific nature of the dream­ content-its reference to death. We will refrain from making an interpretation at this point and will stress further, as being in need of explanation, the fact that in both these situations, where two men are sleeping together, the uncanny element of the ghostly guide is associated with a woman. The spirit in the first dream is early on revealed as a beautiful woman who feels she is now released, and the spirit in the second dream leads the way to 'the grave of a girl, on which the distinguishing mark is to be placed. Let us tum for further enlightenment to some other defaeca­ tion-dreams of this kind, in whjch the bedfellows are no longer



two men but a man and a woman, a married couple. The satisfying action accomplished in sleep as a result of the dream seems here particularly repellent, but perhaps for that very reason conceals a special meaning. First, however, we will introduce a dream (on account of its connection in content with those that follow) which does not strictly speaking fit in with the plan we have just put forward. It is incomplete, inasmuch as the element of the dreamer's dirtying his bedfellow, his wife, is absent. On the other hand, the connection between the urge to defaecate and the fear of death is extremely plain. The peasant, who is described as married, dreams that he is struck by lightning and that his soul flies up to Heaven. Up there he begs to be allowed to return once more to the earth in order to see his wife and children, obtains permission to transform himself into a spider and to let himself down on the thread spun by himself. The thread is too short and the effort to express still more thread out of his body results in defaecation. DREAM AND REALITY1

A peasant lay in bed and had a dream. He saw himself in the field with his oxen, ploughing. Then suddenly down came a flash oflightning and struck him dead. Then he felt quite clearly his soul floating upwards until at last it reached Heaven. Peter stood by the entrance gates and was going to send the peasant in without more ado. But he begged to be allowed down to earth once more, so that he could at least take leave of his wife and his children. But Peter said that would not do, and once a man was in Heaven he was not allowed to return to the world. At this the peasant wept and begged pitifully, until at last Peter gave way. Now there was only one possible way for the peasant to see his family again and that was for Peter to change him into an animal and send him down. So the peasant was turned into a spider and span a long thread on which he let himself down. When he had arrived just over his homestead, at about the level of the chimneys, and could already see his children playing in the meadow, he noticed to his horror that he could not spin any further. Naturally his fear was great, for ofcourse he wanted to get right down to the earth. So he squeezed and he squeezed to make the thread longer. He squeezed with all his might 1 Dr. van Waldheim, 'Skatologische Erzli.hlungen aus Preussisch­ Schlesien [Scatologic Tales from Prussian Silesia]', Anthropophyteia, 6 [1909], 431, No. 9.

DREAMS IN FOLKLORE 192 and main-there was a loud noise-and the peasant awoke. Some­ thing very human had happened to him while he slept.

Here we encounter spun thread as a new symbol for evacu­ ated faeces, although psycho-analysis furnishes us with no counterpart to this symbolization but on the contrary attributes another symbolic meaning to thread. This contradiction will be settled later on. [P. 194.] The next dream, richly elaborated and pungently told, might be described as a 'sociable' one; it ends with the wife's being dirtied. Its points of agreement with the previous dream are, however, quite striking. The peasant is, it is true, not dead, but he finds himself in Heaven, wants to return to the earth and experiences the same difficulty over 'spinning' a sufficiently long thread to let himself down on. However, he does not make this thread for himself as a spider out of his own body, but in a less fantastic way out of everything that he can fasten together, and as the thread is still not long enough to reach, the little angels actually advise him to shit and to lengthen the rope with the turds. THE PEASANT'S AssUMPTION TO HEAVEN1

A peasant had the following dream. He had heard that wheat in Heaven was standing at a high price. So he thought he would like to take his wheat there. He loaded his cart, harnessed the horse and set out. He journeyed a long way till he saw the road to Heaven and followed it. Thus he came to the gates of Heaven, and look! they stood open. He charged straight forward so as to drive right inside, but he had scarcely headed the cart towards them when-crash! the gates banged shut. Then he began to beg: 'Let me in, please be kind!' But the angels did not let him in and said he had come late. Then he saw that there was no business to be done here; there was just nothing for him, and so he turned round. But look! the road he had travelled on had vanished. What was he to do? He addressed himself to the angels again. 'Little dears, please be kind and take me back to the earth, if it's possible! give me a road so that I can get home with my horse and cart!' But the angels said: 'No, child of man, your horse and cart stay here and you can go down how you please.' 'But how shall I let myself down then, I haven't any rope?' 'Just look for something to let yourself down with.' So he took the reins, the bridle and the bit, fastened them all together and began to let himself down. He crawled and he crawled and he looked down-it was still a long way to the earth. He crawled back again and lengthened the rope he had joined together 1 Tarasevsky (1909, 196 [No. 233]).



by adding the girth and the traces. Then he began to climb down again and it still did not reach the earth. So he fastened on the shafts and the body of the cart. It was still too short. What was he to do next? He racked his brains and then he thought: 'Ah, I'll lengthen it with my coat and my breeches and my shirt and then with my belt.' And that is what he did, joined everything together and climbed on. When he had reached the end of the belt it was still a long way to the earth. Then he did not know what to do; he had nothing more to fasten on and it was dangerous to jump down: he might break his neck. He begged the angels again: 'Be kind, take me down to the earth!' The angels said: 'Shit, and the muck will make a rope.' So he shat and he shat almost half an hour until he had nothing left to shit with. It made a long rope and he climbed down it. He climbed and he climbed and reached the end of the rope, but it was still a long way to the earth. Then he began once more to beg the angels to take him down to the earth. But the angels said: 'Now, child of man, piss and it will make a silken thread.' The peasant pissed and he pissed, on and on, till he could do no more. He saw that it really had turned into a silken thread and he climbed on. He climbed and he climbed and he reached the end of it, and look, it did not reach to the earth, it still needed one and a half or two fathoms. He begged the angels again to take him down. But the angels said: 'No, brother, there is no help for you now; just jump down!' The peasant dangled undecided; he could not find the courage to jump down. But then he saw that there was no other way out left to him, and bump! instead of jumping down from Heaven he came flying down from the stove and only came to his senses in the middle of the room. Then he woke up and shouted: 'Wife, wife, where are you?' His wife woke up, she heard the din and said: 'The Devil take you, have you gone mad?' She felt round about her and saw the mess: her husband had shat and pissed all over her. She began to rate and to scold him roundly. The peasant said: 'What are you screaming about? There's vexation enough anyway. The horse is lost, stayed behind in Heaven, and I was almost done for. God be thanked that I am alive at least!' 'What rubbish you're talking. You've had much too much to drink. The horse is in the stable and you were on the stove, and dirtied me all over and then jumped down.' Then the man collected himself. Only then did it dawn on him that he had merely dreamt it all; and then he told his wife the dream, how he had journeyed up to Heaven and how from there he came down to the earth again.

At this point, however, psycho-analysis forces on our atten­ tion an interpretation which changes our whole view of this class of dreams. Extensible objects, so the experience of inter­ preting dreams tells us, are ordinarily symbols of erection. 1 In 1 [Marginal Note by Oppenheim:] In a story which comes from Picardy, pushing a ring down on a finger serves as a symbolic way of



both these anecdotes of dreams the emphasis lies on the element of the thread's refusing to get long enough, and the anxiety in the dream is also attached to this same element. Thread, moreover, like all things analogous to it (cord, rope, twine, etc.), is a symbol of semen. 1 The peasant, then, is striving to produce an erection and only when this is unsuccessful does he resort to defaecation. All at once a sexual need comes to view in these dreams behind the excremental one. This sexual need is, however, much better adapted to explain the remaining constituents of the dream's content. We are bound to admit, if we are ready to assume that these fictitious dreams are essentially correctly constructed, that the dream­ action with which they end must have a meaning and must be one intended by the latent thoughts of the dreamer. If the dreamer defaecates over his wife at the end of it, then the whole dream must have this as its aim and provide the reason for this outcome. It can signify nothing else but an insult to the wife, or, strictly speaking, a rejection of her. It is then easy to establish a connection between this and the deeper significance of the anxiety expressed in the dream. The situation from which this last dream grows can be con­ strued according to these suggestions as follows. The sleeper is overcome by a strong erotic need which is indicated in fairly clear symbols at the beginning of the dream. (He had heard that wheat-probably equivalent to semen-was standing at a high price. He charged forward in order to drive with his horse and cart-genital symbols-through the open gates of Heaven.) But this libidinal impulse probably applies to an unattainable object. The gates close, he gives up his intention and wants to return to the earth. But his wife, who lies by him, does not attract him; he exerts himself in vain to get an erection for her. The wish to discard her in order to replace her by another and better woman is in the infantile sense a death-wish. When someone cherishes such wishes in his unconscious against a person who is nevertheless really loved, they are transformed for him into fear of death, fear for his own life. Hence the predepicting an erection. The lower tlie ring goes, the longer the penis becomes-the analogy naturally has a magical force. (Kryptadia, 1, No. 32.) [That is, it is an instance of what Frazer calls 'imitative magic'.] 1 Cf. Stekel, 1911a. [See also above, pp. 21-2.]



sence in these dreams of the state of being dead, the assump­ tion to Heaven, the hypocritical longing to see wife and children again. But the disappointed sexual libido finds release along the path of regression in the excremental wishful im­ pulse, which abuses and soils the unserviceable sexual object. If this particular dream makes an interpretation of this kind plausible, then, in view of the peculiarities of the material which the dream contains, we can only succeed in proving the interpretation by applying the same one to a whole succession of dreams with an allied content. With this aim in view, let us turn back to the dreams mentioned earlier, where we find the situation of a sleeper who has a man as his bedfellow. The con­ nection in which the woman appears in these dreams now acquires an added significance in retrospect. The sleeper, over­ come by a libidinal impulse, rejects the man; he wishes him far away and a woman in his place. A death-wish directed against the dreamer's unwanted male bedfellow is naturally not so severely punished by the moral censorship as one directed against his wife, but the reaction is sufficiently far-reaching to turn the wish against himself or against the female object he desires. The dreamer himselfis carried off by death; not the man, but the woman the dreamer longs for, is dead. In the end, how­ ever, the rejection of the male sexual object finds an outlet in defiling him, and this is felt and avenged by the other as an affront. Our interpretation thus fits this group of dreams. If we now turn back to the dreams accompanied by defilement of the woman, we shall be prepared to find that elements missing or only hinted at in the dream we have taken as the type are expressed unmistakably in other similar dreams. In the following defaecation-dream the dirtying of the woman is not emphasized, but we are told quite clearly, as far as can be in the realm of symbolism, that the libidinal impulse is directed towards another woman. The dreamer does not want to dirty his own field, but intends to defaecate on his neighbour's land. MuTTON-HEAn! 1 A peasant dreamt that he was at work in his clover field. He was 1

F. Wernert, 'Deutsche Bauernerzahlungen gesammelt im Ober- und Unterelsass [German Peasant-Tales, Collected in Upper and Lower Alsace]', Anthropophyteia, 4 (1907], 138, No. 173.



overtaken by an urgent need and, since he did not want to foul his own clover; he hurried off to the tree standing in his neighbour's field, pulled down his breeches and slapped down a pat of number two on to the ground. At last, when he had happily come to an end, he wanted to clean himself and began to tear up grass with a will. But what was that? Our little peasant woke up from his sleep with a jerk, and clutched at his painfully smarting cheek which someone had just slapped. 'You deaf old mutton-head!'-the peasant, coming to himself, heard his wife in bed beside him scold­ ing. 'So you'd go on pulling the hair right off my body would you!'

Tearing out hair (grass), which here takes the place of defiling, 1 is found mentioned alongside it in the next dream. Psycho-analytic experience shows that it originates from the group of symbols concerning masturbation (ausreissen, abreissen [to pull out, to pull ofl]) . 2 The dreamer's death-wish directed against his wife would seem to be what most requires confirming in our interpreta­ tion. But in the dream which follows next, the dreamer actually buries his wife (hypocritically designated as a treasure) by digging the vessel which contains the gold into the earth and, as is familiar to us in dreams about treasure, planting a heap of faeces on the top to mark the place. During the digging he is working his hands in his wife's vagina. 3 THE DREAM OF THE TREASURE'

Once upon a time a peasant had a terrible dream. It seemed to him just like it was war-time and the whole district was being plundered by the enemy soldiers. But he had a treasure that he was so scared about that he didn't rightly know what to do with it and where he should really hide it. At last he thought he would bury it in his garden, where he knew of a proper fine place. Now he dreams on further how he goes right out and comes to the place where he wants to dig up the earth so he can put the big pot in the hole. But when he looks for a tool to dig with he finds nix round­ about, and at last he has to take his hands to it. So he makes the hole with his bare hands, puts the crock with the money into it 1 [At this point there is a question mark by Oppenheim in the margin of the manuscript.] 11 [Cf. a footnote in The Interpretation of Dreams, Standard Ed., 5, 348, n. 2. These are German slang terms for 'to masturbate'. Compare the English equivalent 'to toss oneself off'.] 3 [Marginal Note by Oppenheim:] Significance? ' A. Riedl, 'Schwanke und Schnurren niederosterreichischer Land­ leute [Comic and Curious Anecdotes from Lower-Austrian Country People]', Anthropophyteia, 5 [1908], 140, No. 19.



and covers the whole lot over again with earth. Now he wants to go, but he stops a while standing there and thinks to himself: 'But when the soldiers have gone away again, how'll I find my treasure then if I don't put a sign there?' And straight away he begins to hunt about; he hunts up and down and to and fro, wherever he can. No, in the end he finds nix nowhere that would show hi:m again straight away where he has buried his money. But just then he feels a need. 'Ah,' he says to himself, 'now that'll be fine, I can shit on it.' So of course he pulls his breeches down right away and does a fine heap on the place where he has put the crock in. Then he sees nearby a bit of grass and is going to pull it out, so he can wipe himself with it. But that moment he gets such a fine clout that for a second he is quite silly and looks round all dazed. And straight after he hears his wife, who is quite beside herself with rage, yelling at him: 'You cheeky bastard, you good-for-nothing! D'you think I've got to put up with everything from you? First you mess about with both hands in my cunt, then you shit on it and now you even want to pull all the hair off it!' With this example of a dream we have returned to the treasure-dreams from which we started out, and we observe that those defaecation-dreams which are concerned with treasure contain little or no fear of death, whereas the others, in which the relation to death is expressed directly (dreams of an assumption to Heaven), disregard treasure and motivate the defaecation in other ways. It is almost as though the hypo­ critical transformation of the wife into a treasure had obviated punishment for the death-wish. 1 A death-wish directed against the woman is most clearly admitted to in another dream of an assumption to Heaven, which, however, ends not in defaecating on the woman's body but in sexual activity involving her genitals, as already hap­ pened in the previous dream. The dreamer actually shortens his wife's life in order to lengthen his own, by putting oil from her lamp of life into his own. As a kind of compensation for this undisguised hostility there appears at the end of the dream something like an attempt at a caress. THE LIGHT OF LIFE 2

Saint Peter appeared to a man when he was fast asleep and led [Marginal Note by Oppenheim:] What about the treasure in the dreams of one of two male bedfellows (p. 189]? 1 Narrated by a Secondary School teacher in Bel ade, based on a gr version told by a peasant woman from the region of Kragujevac. Anthropophyteia, 4 [1907], 255, No. 10. 1



him away to Paradise. The man agreed to go with all his heart and went with Saint Peter. They wandered about in Paradise for a long time and came to a copse, which was large and spacious but kept in beautiful order, and where hanging lamps were burning on every tree. The man asked Saint Peter what this could mean. Saint Peter answered that they were hanging lamps which only burned as long as a man lived. But as soon as the oil vanished and the lamp went out, the man had to die at once too. This interested the man very much and he asked Saint Peter if he would lead him to his own hanging lamp. Saint Peter granted his request and led him to his wife's lamp, and just by it was the man's own lamp. The man saw that his wife's lamp still had a lot of oil in it, but there was very little in his own and this made him very sorry because he would have to die soon, and he asked Saint Peter if he would pour a little more oil into his lamp. Saint Peter said that God put the oil in at the moment when a man was born and determined for each the length of his life. This made the man very downcast and he wept and wailed beside his lamp. Saint Peter said to him: 'You stay there, but I must go on-I have more to do.' The man rejoiced at this and hardly was Saint Peter out of sight when he began to dip his finger in his wife's hanging lamp and to drip the oil into his own. He did this several times and when Saint Peter approached he started up terrified, and awoke from his dream, and saw that he had been dipping his finger in his wife's cunt and then dribbling it into his mouth and licking his finger. Note. According to a version told by a journeyman in Sarajevo, the man awoke after getting a box on the ears from his wife, whom he had awakened by fumbling around in her pudenda. Here Saint Peter is missing and instead of hanging lamps there are glasses with oil burning in them. According to a third version, which I heard from a student in Mostar, a venerable greybeard shows the man various burning candles. His own is very thin, his wife's enormously thick. In order to lengthen his life, the man then begins with burning zeal to lick the thick candle. But then he gets a tremendous clout. 'I knew that you were an ox, but I honestly didn't know that you were a swine as well,' his wife said to him, for he was licking her cunt in his sleep. The story is extraordinarily widespread in Europe. 1 This is the moment to recall the 'bad dream' of the woman who ended by pulling at her husband's organ as if she wanted to tear it out [pp. 184-6]. The interpretation which we found reason to make in that instance agrees completely with the interpretation of the defaecation-dreams dreamt by men which is expounded here. In the dream of the unsatisfied wife, she, as 1 [Mar inal Note by Oppenheim:] Cf. a very similar story from the g Ukraine, Kryptadia, 5, 15.



well, shamelessly gets rid of her husband (and the child) as obstacles in the way of satisfaction. Another defaecation-dream, about whose interpretation we cannot perhaps be completely certain, suggests, however, that we should concede that there are certain differences in the purpose of these dreams, and throws new light on dreams like the ones we have just mentioned and on some that are still to follow, in which the dream-action consists in a manipulation of the woman's genitals. 'FROM FRIGHT'1

The Pasha passed the night with the Bey. When the next day came, the Bey1 lay on in bed and did not want to get up. The Bey asked the Pasha: 'What did you dream?' 'I dreamt that on the minaret there was another minaret.' 'Could that really be?' wondered the Bey. 'And what else did you dream?' 'I dreamt,' he said, 'that on the minaret there stood a copper jug, and there was water in the jug. The wind blew and the copper jug rocked. Now what would you have done if you had dreamt that?' 'I should have pissed myself and shat myself as well, from fright.' 'And, you see, I only pissed myself.'

This dream calls for a symbolic interpretation, because its manifest content is quite incomprehensible whereas the symbols are unmistakably clear. Why should the dreamer really feel frightened at the sight of a water-jug rocking on the tip of a minaret? But a minaret is excellently suited to be a symbol for the penis, and the rhythmically moving water-vessel seems a good symbol of the female genitals in the act of copulation. The Pasha, then, has had a copulation-dream, and if his host suggests defaecation in connection with it this makes it likely that the interpretation is to be sought in the circumstance that both of them are old and impotent men, in whom old age has occasioned the same proverbial replacement of sexual by ex­ cremental pleasure which, as we have seen, came about in the other dreams owing to the lack of an appropriate sexual object. For a man who can no longer copulate, so say the common 1 F. S. Krauss, 'Si.idslavische Volksi.iberlieferungen, die sich auf den Geschlechtsverkehr beziehen [Southern Slav Folk Traditions concerning Sexual Intercourse]', Anthropophyteia, 5 [1908], 293, No. 697. 2 [This should probably read 'the Pasha', though it appears as 'the Bey' in both the German and the Slav versions in Anthropophyteia.]



people with their crude love of truth, there still remains the pleasure of shitting; we can say of such a man there is a recur­ rence of anal erotism, which was there before genital erotism and was repressed and replaced by this later impulse. Defaeca­ tion-dreams can thus also be impotence-dreams. The difference between the interpretations is not so pro­ nounced as might appear at first sight. The defaecation-dreams too, in which the victim is a woman, deal with impotence­ relative impotence, at least, towards the particular person who no longer has any attraction for the dreamer. A defaecation­ dream thus becomes the dream of a man who can no longer satisfy a woman, as well as of a man whom a woman no longer satisfies. The same interpretation (as an impotence-dream) can also be applied to a dream in the Facetiae of Poggio, which mani­ festly, it is true, poses as the dream of a jealous man-that is, in fact, of a man who does not think he can satisfy his wife. THE RINo OF FmELITY 1

Franciscus Philelphus was jealous of his wife and became tor­ mented by the greatest fear that she had to do with another man, and day and night he lay on the watch. Since what occupies us in waking is wont to return to us in dreams, there appeared to him during his sleep a demon, who said to him that if he would act according to his bidding his wife would always remain faithful to him. Franciscus said to him in the dream that he would be very indebted to him and promised him a reward. 'Take this ring,' replied the demon, 'and wear it on your finger with care. As long as you wear it, your wife cannot lie with any other man without your knowledge.' As he awoke, excited with joy, he felt that he was pushing his finger into the vulva of his wife. The jealous have no better expedient; in this way their wives can never let themselves be taken by another man without the know­ ledge of their husbands.

This anecdote of Poggio is considered to be the source ofl! a tale by Rabelais, which, in other respects very similar, is clearer inasmuch as it actually describes the husband bringing home a Poggio [Bracciolini] (1905, No. 133). [The manuscript reads 'to be derived from'. But this must be a slip, since Poggio's Facetiae were in print by about 1470, some twenty-five years before Rabelais was born.) 1




young wife in his old age, who then gives him grounds for jealous fears.1 Hans Carvel was a learned, experienced, industrious man, a man of honour, of good understanding and judgement, benevolent, charitable to the poor and a cheerful philosopher. Withal a good companion, who was fond of a jest, somewhat corpulent and un­ steady, but otherwise well set up in every way. In his old age he married the daughter of Concordat the bailiff, a young, comely, good, gay, lively and pleasing woman, merely perchance a little too friendly towards the gentlemen neighbours and menservants. So it befell that in the course of some weeks he became as jealous as a tiger and was suspicious that she might be getting her buttocks drummed upon elsewhere. To guard against this, he related to her a whole stock of pleasing histories of the punishments for adultery, often read aloud to her lovely legends of virtuous women, preached her the gospel of chastity, wrote her a small volume of songs of praise to matrimonial fidelity, inveighed in sharp and caustic words against the wantonness of undisciplined wives and in addition to all be­ stowed on her a magnificent necklace set round with oriental sapphires. But regardless of this, he saw her going about with the neighbours in such a friendly and sociable fashion that his jealousy mounted yet higher. One night at that time, as he was lying with her in bed, in the midst of these painful thoughts, he dreamt he spoke with the Fiend Incarnate and bewailed his grief to him. But the Devil com­ forted him, put a ring on his finger andsaid: 'Take this ring; as long as you carry it on your finger no other man can have carnal know­ ledge of your wife without your knowledge and against your will.' 'A thousand thanks, Sir Devil!' said Hans Carvel, 'I will deny Mahomet before ever I take this ring from my finger.' The Devil disappeared. But Hans Carvel awoke with a joyful heart and found that he had his finger in his wife's what-d'you-call-it. I forgot to relate how the young woman, when she felt this, jerked her buttocks backwards as if to say: 'Stop! No, no! That's not what ought to be put in there!'-which made Hans Carvel imagine that someone wanted to pull off his ring. Is that not an infallible measure? Believe me! act after this example and take care at all times to have your wife's ring on your finger!• The Devil, who appears here as counsellor, as he does in the treasure-dreams, gives us a clue to something of the dreamer's Rabelais, Pantagruel, Chapter 28 of Le Tiers Livre. • [Footnote by Freud:] Goethe is concerned with this symbolism of the ring and the finger in a Venetian Epigram (Paralipomena, No. 65, Sophienausgabe, Abt. II, Bel. 5, 381). Costly rings I possess! Excellent stones, engraved In lofty style and conception, held by the purest of gold; S.F. XII-0 1



latent thoughts. Originally at least, he was supposed to 'take' the unfaithful wife who is hard to keep a watch on.1 He then shows in the manifest dream an infallible means of keeping her permanently. In this too we recognize an analogy with the wish to get rid of someone (death-wish) in the defaecation-dreams. We will conclude this small collection of dreams by adding a lottery-dream, whose connection with the others is rather slight, but which serves to confirm the suggestion which we put forward earlier [p. 186] that a lottery symbolizes a marriage contract. !T's No UsE CRYING OVER SPILT MILK! 2 A merchant had a strange dream. He dreamt that he saw a woman's arse with everything that belonged to it. On one half was a figure 1 and on the other a 3. Before this, the merchant had had the idea of buying a lottery ticket. It seemed to him that this picture in his dream was a lucky omen. Without waiting till the ninth hour, he ran to the bank first thing in the morning, in order to buy his ticket. He arrived there and without pausing to think he demanded ticket Number Thirteen, the same figures that he had seen in his dream. After he had bought his ticket, not a day passed on which he did not look in all the newspapers to see if his number had won. After a week, or at the most after ten days, the list of the draw came out. When he looked through, he saw that his number had not been drawn but the number 103, Series 8, and that number had won 200,000 roubles. The merchant nearly tore his hair out. 'I must have made a mistake! there is something wrong!' He was beside himself, he was almost inconsolable and could not conceive what his having had such a dream could mean. Then he resolved to discuss the matter with his friend to see if he could not account for his misfortune. He met his friend and told him everything in minute detail. Then his friend said: 'Oh you simpleton! Didn't you see the nought between the number 1 and the 3 on the arse?' 'A-a-ah, the Devil take it, it never occurred to me that the arse had a nought.' 'But it was there plain and clear, only you didn't work out the lottery number right. And the number 8 belonging to the Dearly men pay for these rings, adorned with fiery stones, Oft have you seen them sparkle over the gaming-table. But one little ring I know, whose virtue is not the same, Which Hans Carvel once possessed, sadly, when he was old. Foolish he pushed in the ring the smallest of all his ten fingers, The eleventh, the biggest, alone is worthy and fit to be there. 1 [Here there is a question mark by Oppenheim in the margin.] 1 Tarasevsky (1909 40 [No. 63]). ,

DREAMS IN FOLKLORE 203 series-the cunt shows you that-it's like a number 8.'-lt's no use crying over spilt milk! Our intention in putting together this short paper was two­ fold. On the one hand we wanted to suggest that one should not be deterred by the often repulsively dirty and indecent nature of this popular material from seeking in it valuable con­ firmation of psycho-analytic views. Thus on this occasion we have been able to establish the fact that folklore interprets dream-symbols in the same way as psycho-analysis, and that, contrary to loudly proclaimed popular opinion, it derives a group of dreams from needs and wishes which have become immediate. On the other hand, we should like to express the view that it is doing the common people an injustice to assume that they employ this form of entertainment merely to satisfy the coarsest desires. It seems rather that behind these ugly fa�ades are concealed mental reactions to impressions of life which are to be taken seriously, which even strike a sad note-­ reactions to which common people are ready to surrender, but only if they are accompanied by a yield of coarse pleasure.

ON PSYCHO-ANALYSIS (1913 [1911])


(a) GERMAN EDITION: (1911 Date of composition: no Ge�an text extant.) (h)


'On Psycho-Analysis' 1913 Australasian Medical Congress, Transactions of the .Ninth Session, 2, Part 8, 839-42. The present translation is a modified version of the one published in 1913. Early in March, 1911, Freud received an invitation from Dr. Andrew Davidson, the secretary of the Section of Psycho­ logical Medicine and Neurology, to send a paper to be read before the Australasian Medical Congress which was to meet in Sydney in September of that year. He despatched his paper on May 13, and it was duly read, and later published in the Transactions of the Congress, along with papers (also on psycho­ analytic subjects) by Jung and Havelock Ellis. No German text is to be found, but it appears unlikely, from internal evidence, that the published version can have been written by Freud himself in English. It is more probable that it was translated from a German original, possibly in Australia. There seems to be no particular reason, therefore, for keeping to the published text, and we have accordingly made some light terminological and stylistic modifications in it.

ON PSYCHO-ANALYSIS IN response to a friendly request by the Secretary of your Section of Neurology and Psychiat11 ·, I venture to draw the attention of this Congress to the subject of psycho-analysis, which is being extensively studied at the present time in Europe and America. Psycho-analysis is a remarkable combination, for it com­ prises not only a method of research into the neuroses but also a method of treatment based on the aetiology thus discovered. I may begin by saying that psycho-analysis is not a child of speculation, but the outcome of experience; and for that reason, like every new product of science, is unfinished. It is open to anyone to convince himself by his own investigations of the correctness of the theses embodied in it, and to help in the further development of the study. Psycho-analysis started with researches into hysteria, but in the course of years it has extended far beyond that field of work. The Studies on Hysteria by Breuer and myself, published in 1895, were the beginnings of psycho-analysis. They followed in the track of Charcot's work on 'traumatic' hys teria, Lie­ beault's and Bernheim's investigations of the phenomena of hypnosis, and Janet's studies of unconscious mental processes. Psycho-analysis soon found itself in sharp opposition to Janet's views, because (a) it declined to trace back hysteria directly to congenital hereditary degeneracy, (b) it offered, instead of a mere description, a dynamic explanation based on the inter­ play of psychical forces and (c) it ascribed the origin of psychical dissociation (whose importance had been recognized by Janet as well) not to a [failure of] 1 mental synthesis resulting from a congenital disability, but to a special psychical process known as 'repression' (' Verdriingung'). It was conclusively proved that hysterical symptoms are residues (reminiscences) of profoundly moving experiences, which have been withdrawn from everyday consciousness, and that their form is determined (in a manner that excludes 1 [These words have evidently been accidentally omitted from the published text.]




deliberate action) by details of the traumatic effects of the ex­ periences. On this view, the therapeutic prospects lie in the possibility of getting rid of this 'repression', so as to allow part of the unconscious psychical material to become conscious and thus to deprive it of its pathogenic power. This view is a dyna­ mic one, in so far as it regards psychical processes as displace­ ments of psychical energy which can be gauged by the amount of their effect on the affective elements. This is most significant in hysteria, where the process of 'conversion' creates the symp­ toms by transforming a quantity of mental impulses into somatic innervations. The first psycho-analytic examinations and attempts at treat­ ment were made with the help of hypnotism. Afterwards this was abandoned and the work was carried out by the method of 'free association', with the patient remaining in his normal state. This modification had the advantage of enabling the procedure to be applied to a far larger number of cases of hysteria, as well as to other neuroses and also to healthy people. The development of a special technique of interpreta­ tion became necessary, however, in order to draw conclusions from the expressed ideas of the person under investigation. These interpretations established with complete certainty the fact that psychical dissociations are maintained entirely by 'internal resistances'. The conclusion seems justified, therefore, that the dissociations have originated owing to internal con­ flict, which has led to the 'repression' of the underlying impulse. To overcome this conflict and in that way to cure the neurosis, the guiding hand of a doctor trained in psycho-analysis is required. Furthermore, it has been shown to be true quite generally that in all neuroses the pathological symptoms are really the end-products of such conflicts, which have led to 'repression' and 'splitting' of the mind. The symptoms are generated by different mechanisms: (a) either as formations in substitution for the repressed forces, or (b) as compromises between the re­ pressing and repressed forces, or (c) as reaction-formations and safeguards against the repressed forces. Researches were further extended to the conditions which determine whether or not psychical conflicts will lead to 're­ pression' (that is, to dissociation dynamically caused), since it goes without saying that a psychical conflict, per se, may also have a normal outcome. The conclusion arrived at by psycho-



analysis was that such conflicts were always between the sexual instincts (using the word 'sexual' in the widest sense) and the wishes and trends of the remainder of the ego. In neuroses it is the sexual instincts that succumb to 'repression' and so con­ stitute the most important basis for the genesis of symptoms, which may accordingly be regarded as substitutes for sexual satisfactions. Our work on the question of the disposition to neurotic affections has added the 'infantile' factor to the somatic and hereditary ones hitherto recognized. Psycho-analysis was obliged to trace back patients' mental life to their early infancy, and the conclusion was reached that inhibitions of mental development ('infantilisms') present a disposition to neurosis. In particular, we have learnt from our investigations of sexual life that there really is such a thing as 'infantile sexuality', that the sexual instinct is made up of many components and passes through a complicated course of development, the final out­ come of which, after many restrictions and transformations, is the 'normal' sexuality of adults. The puzzling perversions of the sexual instinct which occur in adults appear to be either inhibitions of development, fixations or lop-sided growths. Thus neuroses are the negative of perversions. The cultural development imposed on mankind is the factor which necessitates the restrictions and repressions .of the sexual instinct, greater or lesser sacrifices being demanded according to the individual constitution. Development is hardly ever achieved smoothly, and disturbances may occur (whether on account of the individual constitution or of premature sexual incidents) leaving behind a disposition to future neuroses. Such dispositions may remain harmless if the adult's life proceeds satisfactorily and quietly; but they become pathogenic if the conditions of mature life forbid satisfaction of the libido or make too high demands on its suppression. Researches into the sexual activity of children have led to a further conception of the sexual instinct, based not on its pur­ poses but on its sources. The sexual instinct possesses in a high degree the capacity for being diverted from direct sexual aims and for being directed towards higher aims which are no longer sexual ('sublimation'). The instinct is thus enabled to make most important contributions to the social and artistic achieve­ ments of humanity.



Recognition of the simultaneous presence of the three factors of 'infantilism', 'sexuality' and 'repression' constitutes the main characteristic of the psycho-analytic theory, and marks its distinction from other views of pathological mental life. At the same time, psycho-analysis has demonstrated that there is no fundamental difference, but only one of degree, between the mental life of normal people, of neurotics and of psychotics. A normal person has to pass through the same repressions and has to struggle with the same substitutive structures; the only difference is that he deals with these events with less trouble and better success. The psycho-analytic method of investigation can accordingly be applied equally to the explanation of normal psychical phenomena, and has made it possible to discover the close relationship between pathological psychical products and normal structures such as dreams, the small blunders of everyday life, and such valuable phenomena as jokes, myths and imaginative works. The explanation of these has been carried furthest in the case of dreams, and has resulted here in the following general formula: 'A dream is a disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish.' The interpretation of dreams has as its object the removal of the disguise to which the dreamer's thoughts have been subjected. It is, moreover, a highly valuable aid to psycho-analytic technique, for it con­ stitutes the most convenient method of obtaining insight into unconscious psychical life. There is often a tendency in medical and especially in psy­ chiatric circles to contradict the theories of psycho-analysis without any real study or practical application of them. This is due not only to the striking novelty of these theories and the contrast they present to the views hitherto held by psychiatrists, but also to the fact that the premisses and technique of psycho­ analysis are much more nearly related to the field of psychology than to that of medicine. It cannot be disputed, however, that purely medical and non-psychological teachings have hitherto done very little towards an understanding of mental life. The progress of psycho-analysis is further retarded by the dread felt by the average observer of seeing himself in his own mirror. Men of science tend to meet emotional resistances with argu­ ments, and thus satisfy themselves to their own satisfaction! Whoever wishes not to ignore a truth will do well to distrust his antipathies, and, if he wishes tq submit the theory of



psycho-analysis to a critical examination, let him first analyse himself. I cannot think that in these few sentences I have succeeded in painting a clear picture of the principles and purposes of psycho-analysis. But I will add a list of the chief publications on the subject, a study of which will give further enlightenment to any whom I may have interested. 1 1. Breuer and Freud, Studien uber Hysterie, 1895. Fr. Deuticke, Vienna. A portion of the above has been translate